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tv   Public Affairs  CSPAN  January 2, 2013 1:00pm-5:00pm EST

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>> thank you very much. how does the u.s. normally reablingt to cyberattacks, what is the retaliation and how much damage -- [inaudible] rules around what is the appropriate response to certain type of attacks. >> you have to chew on that for one minute. >> according to the economist article, the president issued a secret directive last month establishing the rules for cyberwar and for cyberattack. to date i don't think there's been retaliation. but in the shortest way possible, the united states has said it will consider the extent of the damage done regardless of how it's done. whether it's done by a missile or a cyberattack. and we'll retaliate
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appropriately depending upon who did it and what they did, not how they did it. with regard to the weapons systems, the f-35 that you mentioned, vast amounts of the code for the f-35 systems were stolen before the plane ever flew. so, stolen by friendly asian government. [laughter] you may well think that in the future, if there were a war, if , weapons systems might roll out onto the battlefield and not work. >> thank you very much. we're out of time. thank you very much. [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2013] >> point we've seen over the years is not just economics, it's the discomfort that investigative reporting often causes in a news room. because it's troublesome. it's that more than the economics. if you're going to ruffle the
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feathers of somebody powerful, that gets those people running in to complain to the publisher and their stories have happened over the years. we were very fortunate all through the 1970's and almost all of our careers to work for people who were really strong and upright in that area. and just let the chipping fall where they may. >> the investigative team of donald bar let and james steel will take your emails and tweets this weekend on "in depth." the pair who began their collaborative work in the 1970's are the co-authors of eight books. the latest "the betrayal of the american dream," watch live, sunday, noon eastern, on book tv on c-span 2. >> thinkers gather to host their 10th annual event in toronto. panelists including charles crowdhammer and cnn host debated the u.s. and israeli
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position in the middle east. the consequences of launching a war in iran and iran's influence in the region. this is just over 90 minutes. >> you don't know which of your facts will be demolished. >> i've never heard such stupid things. [laughter] >> you don't know which of your arguments will be totally destroyed. >> he's never said withdrawal. >> he said immediately >> is it possible to actually complete a sentence? >> and then you've got to come back and you're sick enough. >> you asked me to engage with a serious argument. i have yet to hear a serious argue frment either of these two. no, no, no. >> you're going to say something.
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>> i'm not prepared to sacrifice the african continent for some free-market north korea liberal ideology. >> let's save the bleeding heart for somebody else. it's time to change. >> we're all in this. so the united states can't pull itself out by running a trade surplus unless we can find another planet to sell to. >> we remain totally unlike japan. the place where everyone in the world wants to come and the place where everyone in the world wants to put their money. >> we create the fashion, we create the -- [inaudible] every bad things was in europe and we make two world war. >> nor are we in the house of commons. >> oh, so what? big deal. [laughter] >> with a performance like, that you'll get there, i promise you. >> if you get sick and you choose to go to the united
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states, you die sooner, you have a higher risk of fatal medical error. >> innovation and technology and research and cures for alcs and cures for h.i.v. someday is going to come from the united states of america. it's not going to come from canada. >> imagine indeed a world without religious faith. not just no place of worship, no prayer, no scripture, but no men or women who because of their faith dedicating their lives to others. >> once you assume a creation and a plan, it makes us objects in a cruel experiment and over us to supervise this is installed the celestial dictatorship. a kind of divine north korea. [laughter] >> i can't believe i'm about to say this but dr. kissinger, you have six minutes. >> would africa be better off
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if china didn't invest there? would africa be better off if china wasn't its biggest trading partner? i think that's the kind of hypocritical argument that if i were chinese i'd find quite annoying. [laughter] >> you're obviously finding it annoying even though you're not chinese. [applause] >> well, ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the monk debates on iran -- munk debates on iran. this is the munk debate on iran's nuclear ambitions. it's my privilege to both organize these series and once again act as your moderator. we began tonight with a look back, a look back at some of the memorable moments of previous munk debates. tonight is a special evening for this series. tonight we convene our 10th semiannual munk debate.
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the munk debate stage, as we enter our fifth year, we've hosted over 38 speakers. speakers such as christopher hitchens, tony blair, henry kissinger, who could forget him? paul krugman and larry somers. and it's really thanks to you, the 3,000 people here at roy thompson hall, again tonight for a munk debate, the thousands more watching online, all of you representing our 30,000-strong membership. this debate series undeniably is making a lasting contribution to more and better public debate not only in canada but in internationally. we're doing that through global tv and radio broadcasts on the bbc, through our home-grown champion supporters of this debate, cbc radio, and the global mail and through our unique publishing program with books that have seen this debates translated into over a
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dozen languages and are published throughout the english-speaking world. it's undeniable that this series is having an international impact. all of this would not be possible again without you, our members, our attendees, and two other very special people. ladies and gentlemen, please join me in a big round of applause for tonight's, our 10th annual -- semiannual debate, and the hosts and originators of this series, peter and melanie munk and the oria foundation. bravo. bravo. [applause] bravo. ok. the moment week of been waiting for. let's get our two teams of powerhouse debaters out onto the stage and our contest under way. arguing for the motion, be it
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resolved the world cannot tolerate an iran with nuclear weapons capability are charles crauthammer. [applause] well, given tonight is an anniversary of sorts for unk debates, who better to have onstage than one of the debaters from our winning team and our very first debate in 2008. he writes a must-read column in "the washington post" on u.s. and international politics. it's syndicated in over 150 newspapers around the world. an analysis and steely reputation on fox news for not suffering fools gladly, has
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made him one of america's most influential commentators. ladies and gentlemen, please welcome charles krauthammer. [applause] well, given recent events in the middle east, we are very fortunate indeed to host as charles' debating partner an individual who's career in the israeli defense force was synonymous with the nuclear threats that have confronted his country. highlights include being one of eight f-16 pilots that strap themselves into jets and destroyed the reactor in iraq in 1981. and most recently, up until 2010, playing a key role in managing israel's overt and covert campaign against iran's nuclear enrichment program. ladies and gentlemen, major general retired adlin.
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[applause] now, let's get out on the stage the equal request formidable duo who will be arguing against tonight's resolution, be it resolved the world cannot tolerate an iran with nuclear weapons capability. vali nasser and fareed zakaria. [applause] well, dean vali nasser leads john hopkins university's press contingentous school of advanced international studies, born in tehran, he's one of the world's top experts on the political and social developments of iran. and he's the author of two best-selling books, "the shi'a revival" and "democracy in iran." he sits on the state department's influential foreign affairs policy board
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and has served as a senior advisor as recently as 2011 for afghanistan and pakistan to the late richard holbrook, a former munk debater. ladies and gentlemen, dean vali nasser. [applause] now, when you think of provocative conversation on a big foreign policy challenges of the day, you have to think about our next debater. his flagship global affairs program on cnn is seen in over 200 countries worldwide. but he is anything but a talking head on cable tv. he writes a highly respected column for the post and is the editor at large of "time" magazine. his numerous best selling books include "the post-american world" and "the future of freedom." please welcome back broadcaster and journalist, fareed zakaria.
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[applause] now we are just momenting from getting our debate under way but before we hear from opening statements, one again i'm going to need this audience's assistance as the night goes on to make sure our debaters stay on time in terms of their opening and closing remarks and that we move forward as a debate together. so you will see this countdown clock, this handy clock appear. when it reaches zero, applaud. this will let our debaters know that their time is over for their opening. before we kick off the debate, let's see how the 3,000 people gathered today in roy thompson hall voted on our resolution, be it resolved the world cannot tolerate an iran with nuclear weapons. this is as you took your seats. let's see those numbers there. debaters, you'll have it on your projection screen here.
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60% in favor of the motion. 23% opposed. 17% undecided. now, we all asked -- answered a second question, depending on what you hear during the debate, are you open to changing your vote. how many proverbial swing states do we have in the audience this evening? let's see those results. wow. that's different. past munk debates we've seen even higher levels of potential vote changing. so this debate is very much in play. now, time for opening statements. as we've agreed to the order, dr. charles krauthammer, you're up first. >> thank you very much. thank you for that kind introduction. they were nice introductions. they were kind introductions. the nice ones where where -- are where they list all your achievements, they get a copy made and noterized and they send it to your mother. the kind introductions are the
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ones where they leave stuff out. for example, i appreciate you leaving out the fact that i once worked for the famously liberal senator walter mondale. people ask me -- wrong reaction. [laughter] people sometimes ask me how do you go from walter to fox news. i say, it's easy. i was young once. [laughter] so i appreciate the fact you left out that i was once a psychiatrist. in fact, technically i still am. but in reality i'm a psychiatrist in remission. [laughter] doing extremely well, thank you. haven't had a relapse in 25 years. i'm sometimes asked to compare what i do as a political analyst in washington with what i do now -- what i did back then as a psychiatrist in boston and i tell people, as you can imagine, it's not that different. in both lines of work i deal
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every day with people who suffer from paranoia and dilutions of grandeur. the only difference is that in washington the paranoids have access to nuclear weapons. which makes the stakes a little higher, the work a little more interesting and which leads us to tonight's debate. nuclear weapons in the hands of a regime like iran. can we live with it and the answer is no. i will give you three reasons to start off the debate, why i think so. and then we'll get into the debails -- details as we go on. i'm sure you will enforce the six-minute rule. the first reason, and i think we have to look at this in consent rick circles of decreasing size, the global, the regional and the local effect. the global problem, the global threat is that the world has been for 60 years trying to curtail and prevent the spread of nuclear weapons. hyperproliferation is the
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ultimate -- ultimate world nightmare. we congratulated ourselves when brazil and argentina renounced nuclear weapons. imagine what a world would be like where iran, the most important, most powerful, most aggressive and according to the state department the greatest exporter of terror in the world , the most aggressive state and most radical state in the middle east acquires nuclear weapons. that is the end of nonproliferation. you think the weaker nations in the region are going to take refuge in the n.p.t. treaty? no. here's what will happen. uncontrollable nuclear proliferation throughout a region roiled by revolution and secretary taper blood feuds -- sectarian blood feuds. those are the words of henry kissinger who knows something about deterrents, when it works and when it doesn't. we will get an instant nuclear arms race, all the important neighbors, saudi arabia, egypt,
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turkey, syria, think of syria. god knows who will be in charge of syria. we'll all have gone nuclear assuming that iran will go nuclear first. and it's not just in the immediate middle east. this is going to spread in the region. our opponents tonight are going to speak reassuringly about deterrents. well, the experience that we've had is the stable deterrents in a bipolar system, the united states, soviet union, a bilateral, stable system. imagine that you have to do a deterrence with six, seven, eight powers, countries that are unstable, some revolutionary and with shifting alliances. how do you enforce or rely on deterrents in those circumstances? you can get accidental or unauthorized use, you can get the deliberate proliferation into the hasn'ts of terrorists
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-- hands of terrorists. imagine if al qaeda would do what it did on 9/11, if would would hesitate for a second if it got its hands on nukes and using a nuclear weapon in such an attack in the future. that's the threat that's the end of nonproliferation and the end of a reliance on deterrence. second, we have always tried to prevent the hedge monday rising in the middle east, in control. that's why there was an iraq war in 1991, over the invasion of kuwait. what the arabs understand in the region is that once iran is nuclear it becomes the most aggressive radicaly islamist anti-western state in charge of this strategic area of the middle east. that's why the gulf states in private have besieged the united states to take out their nuclear program in advance and why if israel were ever to attack iran's nuclear facilities the saudis would
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line the desert with directional ar o'o's saying -- arrows saying this way to tehran. now, lastly, and i'm running out of time, i hope perhaps you'll resist from applauding at the six-minute mark or at least the 60% of who you are sympathetic to our view. [laughter] drown out the others. is that this is a regime that has threatened to anye light israel and expressed -- annihilate israel and has expressed its intention to do so. we have to rely on deterrence because it worked in the cold war. the cold war was radically different. the soviets had an ideological argument with the united states. it was not ex stention. and the target. united states was a continental nation of great size. israel is a one-bomb country. [applause]
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that's a very strong 27th -- 27%. i commend you on your energy. i will stop here and say there's a radical difference between the soviet-u.s. relationship and the relationship with israel and iran and you will not ask six million jews in israel to rely for their existence on deterrence in this kind of situation. thank you very much. [applause] >> if it makes you feel any better, henry kissinger didn't get away with it either. up next, dean vali nasser. the podium is yours. >> thank you. good evening. thank you for that introduction. it's a pleasure being here. let me start by saying that it goes without saying that the world would be better off if iran does not become a nuclear armed state. and achieving that goal should
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be our principle aim going forward. however, despite our best efforts, that undesirable end may very welcome to pass. should we act as if this is the first time that we've encountered such a challenge? or that the logical containment and deterrence somehow does not apply to iran? as iran is outside of the realm of politics as we know it. the answer is no. as troublesome and menacing as iran has been, its behavior still reflects the pursuit of national interests. it has a strategy, it pursues it and in the course of doing so, it reacts to incentives and pressure. we don't approve of its methods but we understand its goals. in short, iran is a familiar problem. one with which we have plenty of experience. during the cold war we managed
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decent prosperity in europe and asia containing both nuclear armed soviet union and china. we made details as to what the similarities are in the middle east but the principle is very clear. and we are still guaranteeing peace and prosperity in asia by containing a very dangerous north korean regime that is armed with nuclear weapons and on a weekly basis threatens to set seoul on fire. india too has been prospering while tolerating grave nuclear danger from the country neighboring which is known for its instability, adventurism and supports for terrorism and that situation has been going on for over two decades and yet there is a stable containment situation in which the economy has been prospering. it is often argued that iran is different because the iranian regime is irrational and others. so much so that it's pervious
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to the logic of containment and deterrence. it is assumed that iran's singular aim is to start a nuclear armageddon the minute that it acquires nuclear weapons. that it is actually religiously mandated to do so. there are plenty of american politicians that believe in the rapture. but that does not mean that you can read american foreign policy on the basis of that suggestion. if iranians were truly driven by that in their foreign policy, they would have reacted when the shrine most directly associated with their hidden imam was blown up in iraq in 2006 and yet they didn't. the last time iran attacked a neighbor was in 1859, to reclaim territories that were snatched away by great britain. the record of the past three decades shows that as objectionable and problematic as iran's behavior has been, it is still driven by the cold
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calculations of regime survival and national interests. you don't need the green islamic studies to understand iranian strategy or to conclude that the regime that has survived in power for three decades could not be suicidal or completely reckless. in fact, despite its bluster and support for terrorism, iran has been more accepting of international norms, that was the case with communist china or is the case with north korea or even pakistan. we talk about proliferation issue. but let us remember, it was pakistan while in america's tight embrace and not iran that began to act as a nuclear ebay. if we were -- if we are to say that we will not tolerate a nuclear iran if that becomes the case, then we have to be -- to basically say we're prepared to go down the path to war with iran. we should ask ourselves, can we tolerate another major war in
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the middle east? this time with a country that is twice as large, twice as pop us will as iraq, -- populous as iraq, has much larger land mass, has capital city. would that war be effective? would it get the job done? how long will that war take? five years, 10 years, 20 years, longer? how much would it cost? how many more trillions of dollars would this war cost the united states? how many americans would die in such a war? 10,000? 15,000? more? how would such a war impact the middle east or america for that matter? do we want such a war can we tolerate it? it seems that americans have already answered this from the president on down. they have answered these questions very clearly. and it's a resounding no. they don't want such a war. the good news is that they don't have to have it.
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if it becomes necessary, if the efforts, diplomatic efforts, the sanctions to stop iran in its tracks were to fail, we can manage a nuclear iran just as we managed a nuclear soviet union, communist china, north korea and pakistan. thank you. [applause] >> the debate is shaping up nicely. next up is amos. >> it is k a.m. in tel aviv. and i am the only one who is not speaking english every day. but it is much more frightening to have a real gun barrel pointed directly at your face than watching it on cnn or reading about it in "the washington post." last week israel was showered
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with 1,500 rockets and missiles from gaza. aimed at israeli innocent people. innocent citizens, women and children. those were iranians rockets and missiles that were supplied to hamas and islamic jihad in gaza. thank god they were not nuclear missiles. iranian leaders are the only state leaders calling for destruction of a u.n. member state. the supreme leader, the president, the chief of staff are using daily expressions like annihilation, cancer remover, wipe off the map and they pointed at israel. the iranian leaders are also a holocaust denier.
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i had grandparents in europe 70 years ago, they never imagined that hitler intended to do exactly what he had said. i suggest that we take this current iranian threat very, very seriously. why? because iran has a cold and radical regime. both regarding internal and, he term issues. they hang 16-year-old gays on cranes publicly. they torture their own citizens and kill them in prison. you know the canadian photographer who was arrested, tortured and killed in iranian prison. they tampered with election results and cracked down on the opposition.
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iran is also number one sponsor of state global terror and for many years they do exercise terror all over the world. in the 1980's, in beirut, they bombed the u.s. embassy, they have killed more than 200 marine soldiers in the marine barracks in beirut. the israeli embassy in the buenos aires as well as the jewish community center in bunes. and what they are -- buenos aires. and what they are doing today in syria, supporting assad, killing more than 30,000 people of his own citizens. this is the iranians. they back every negative regime in the world. and imagine iran possessing nuclear weapons. would this be passed onto
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terrorists just the best iranian weapons have made their way to hezbollah? -- hezbollah? hezbollah is the only terror organization in the world with ballistic missiles and drones. why is there not iranian nuclear weapons? but this is not only the terror aspect. a nuclear iran will be the end of n.p.t. as we know it. and the middle east will become even worse neighborhood. saudi arabia, they really care, they're concerned about the nuclear iran. more than israel. they will go to pakistan the next day. they already paid for the bomb. they only have to bring it back home to avert chinese missiles. egypt, turkey, iraq, every country who is believed to be a
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regional superpower will go nuclear. nuclear balance will include many participants is not stable. and if it's just israel against iran, the main concept of mutual issue destruction, that's basically stable, the cold world war is not there anymore. because there is no communication between iran and israel. we are celebrating the 50th anniversary of the cuban missile cry sills. at that time the soviet union had an embassy in washington, d.c. bobby kennedy, the brother of the president, went to the ambassador in the soviet embassy in d.c. and they closed a deal, how to deescalate -- de-escalate a war that was about to have a nuclear war. there is no iranian embassy in israel. there is no red line between the prime minister office and
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the supreme leader. the world must stop this. this is not an israeli problem. the iranian regime stands defence everything and every value we stand for. freedom, human rights, rule of law, women rights, everything. last word. if you believe to the international prayer and the new books, i am the only -- the only one in the world who is taking part in operations. two were very successful. [applause] two were very successful and spared the world of nuclear weapons in the hands of dictators. the proliferation campaign, the international community must take care of. [applause]
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we look at all of us. [inaudible] [applause] >> there you see on display the discipline of an i.d.f. officer who always completes his mission. [laughter] regardless of the casualties. fareed zakaria, you're up next. final opening statement. >> thank you so much. i really understand the position of the opposing team. i understand the fear. i understand the danger. i understand the challenge. let me put this in some historical perspective.
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after the cold war the united states was the only country in the world with nuclear weapons and then the soviet union acquired a nuclear weapon. and there were many people who felt, many very serious people, that this was an absolute calamity and that the only recourse the united states had was a preemptive war against russia, against the soviet union. this was a position not held by whacky war mongers, the pacifist philosopher argued in favor for that. harold nicholson, the cool, unsentimental british diplomat argued in favor of that. but a man like dwight eisenhower understood that rollback, a strategy of preemptive war, would have huge costs and undergo huge consequences. and so he offered instead for a strategy called deterrence and containment. keep the soviet union in a box, put pressure on them so that they found it difficult to operate and maintain the deterrence that says to them, if you try to do something you your self will be annihilated -- yourself will be annihilated. remember the soviet union at
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the time was regarded as a wild, cazey, revolutionary power bent on global revolution. remember that stalin had just sacrificed tens of millions of his people in world war ii, in the eastern front. something that was unfathomable to western statesmen. they were routinely called irrational, crazy, wide-eyed, messianic. all the things you've heard about iran. but we learned that the proper course of action was not rollback and a preemptive war but containment and deterrence. then we had -- we watched this again in china. john kennedy feared that if china went nuclear, 25 countries would go nuclear. well, china did go nuclear and mao was truly cradsey -- crazy. he openly talked about the need for a nuclear war. he said it would cause sacrifices but it would be educational. answered said half the world would be destroyed but the other half will be socialist. now, that's a crazy more messianic comment than anything
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the iranian mullahs have ever said and yet what we learned is that mao could be contained and deterred. and then we watched this in the country i grew up in, in india. india and pakistan fought a war every 15 careers after independence. they fought -- sorry, they fought three years in 30 years. and then they got nuclear weapons. and in the last 40 years they haven't fought a war since. now every time -- you will of course see tensions and will you see crises like the cuban missile crisis, because these powers are in conflict with one another. but what's extraordinary is that during the cold war, despite this intense geopolitical rivalry, which would have told you, all history would have suggested, that the united states and soviet union would have gone to war with one another. they didn't. because of nuclear weapons. because they were deterred, because of the fear of what it would mean. margaret thatcher understood this. in 1989 she gave a speech standing with gorbachev and she
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said, you and i, secretary general, know that conventional weapons have never deterred war in europe. but nuclear weapons have done so for 40 years. she said in 1989. make that 70 years. north korea, when it went nuclear, we were told all of asia was going to go nuclear. japan would go nuclear, south korea would go nuclear. you could understand why. south korea is still in a state of active arms. it's at war with north korea. and yet that hasn't happened. south korea hasn't gone nuclear. japan hasn't gone nuclear. the lesson of north korea has been, if you're a third-rate dysfunctional country that manages to acquire a couple of crude nuclear devices, you remain a third-world dysfunctional country with a couple of crude nuclear devices. power does not flow from the barrel of crude nuclear weapons. it flows from your g.d.p., from your innovation, from your technical prowess. so we come to israel. and we come to the challenge
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that iran places there. and what i would argue is that the iranians as vali have pointed out are cool, calculated, shrewd, far more so in than rhetoric than their actions, certainly more in their actions than any of the regimes week of talked about. they will be deterred. they will be deterred by israel's nuclear weapons. remember israel has many on submarines so they have second-strike capacity. they will be deterred by america's vast arsenal of nuclear weapons. and they don't have any yet. we're talking about a hypothetical situation. and yet what we are talking about is a war in the middle east where we would go and strike a regime preeveryonetively and what would happen? the regime would gain support at home. every regime that has ever been attacked by foreigners preeveryonetively has the effect of rallying people around that regime. we would be able to destroy part of the infrastructure but they would be able to rebuild it very quickly. israel's own estimates are that
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they would delay the program by two years. you would radicalize the middle east and turn the mullahs and this regime into a much more popular force in the middle east than it is now. meanwhile we have a containment strategy and a deterrence strategy. we have enormous pressure on them. the sanctions have been crippling their economy. they have not been able to develop a nuclear weapon. the israeli intelligence that we have -- that i have received in my 10 years as a journalist, every year for the last 10 years i have been told that iran is one year away from getting a nuclear bomb. either israeli intelligence is very bad or we have been very good at deterring and containing iran. [applause] >> there's a professional broadcaster for you. one second to spare. well done, fareed. there's so much that we need to discuss from proliferation to
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deterrence. but what i think's on the mind of many people, gentlemen, in this room tonight is what's happened in the last number of weeks. the conflict between israel and gaza. and vali nasr, let's have you begin. this you've argued in a sense that iran is seeking to acquire a nuclear device to dominate the arab world, not destroy israel. yet as we heard from general yadlin, those very missiles, those very long range missiles that were fired for the first time by hamas, an islamic jihad, on jerusalem and on tel aviv were proudly provided by iran. so why is general yadlin wrong about the intent of destruction? why are you right about the impetus toward domination? >> well, first of all, iran and israel have been in a low-level warfare with one another over a number of decades. he referred to the back and
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forth over what happened in south lebanon with the bombing and the retaliations that iran did in argentina. there have been attacks on israel here and there and currently as we're speaking there are cyberattack operations on iran as well as assassination of their scientists. they're also hitting back. but launching nuclear weapons is a whole different order of magnitude in terms of escalation. particularly against the country which has several hundred nuclear war heads, with much more accurate ability to deliver them and as fareed said, with second-strike capability off of submarines. iran is in no way in a position to be able to take israel on at that level. now, of course iran would brandish these missiles very broudly. it wants to change the conversation in the middle east from syria and itself to the arab-israeli issue. it wants to also tell the arabs that it's providing ammunition to the palestinians to stand up to israel. in the past we have given up a
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lot of ground in the arab world because of these two things. because the limelight has shifted from them and what they're doing in syria to the arab-israeli issue and also because it's seen as the only government in the region that is providing material support to the palestinians. again, it's calculation of what would promote their position in the region. >> charles, it sounds rational. cold, calculated, moving forward to shift attention away from what's happening in syria. why don't you buy that analysis? >> this argument that iran is acting purely from national motives, cold and calculating, simply makes no sense in relation to israel. iran and israel were allies, friends, until the revolution. there's nothing intrinsic about iranian national interests that drives it to want to destroy israel. it is precisely the ideology of the mullahs. it is precisely the theology of the mullahs. it is precisely the idea that
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the revolution as tie tolla khomeini explained, the revolution in iran was the harbinger, the beginning of the spark of the beginning of the 12th ahmaddy, the restoration of the caliphate, and the restoration of islam's place in the world and in order to achieve that, as they have been saying for the last year, for example, the destruction of israel is the beginning of the redemption of humanity, is that nationalism speaking? is that national interest speaking? the other side is trying to pretend that somehow the iranian regime is cold and calculating and nationalist. then why is it risking everything by supplying arms to hezbollah and to hamas? how does that promote the iranian national interest? to involve itself in the civil war in syria, where they are becoming hated by arabs because they are arming and protecting and even sending revolutionary guards into syria to kill,
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imprison and to torture sunni muslims trying to achieve freedom in syria? no, this is a highly ideologically driven regime and at the top of its ideological and theological list is the annihilation of israel. and our opponents are saying, onchingse it's rhetoric, it's stuff. this is a nation only interested in its own national interest. it's plainly the opposite. >> let's have fareed come back on this critical point of what the most recent conflict is. >> two points. let me answer charlts' question first. the reason the -- charles' question first. the reason the iranians espouse the israeli cause is because this is a shiite regime that is trying to have dominance in the middle east. how do you do that with a bunch of arabs? by appropriating their most important cause. if you go to the streets of cairo, which i have done many times, what is triking -- strike something that when you talk to people, it's the photograph they have in the
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shop is of mahmoud ahmadinejad. a shiite pushtan and you ask them, why do you have that photograph? because he supports the palestinians. the iranian regime understands that by appropriating the core cores of the arab street, they are outwitting the arab regimes themselves. they're saying, your governments are too square scared of washington to support the palestinians fully. we will support them. and it gives them enormous street credibility. it is what makes arab countries very scared of publicly opposing iran's rights to power. to your question, what does the gaza incursion tell us? the gaza incursion tells us one thing very clearly. particularly if you look at the reaction of egypt and turkey. there is now a new middle east and israel is the superpower in that middle east. the egyptians under a new government we were told were going to be different. they were islamist, they were ideological. these guys, you know muslims
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are crazy, then you put one of them in power like that and you know what's going to happen. guess what he did? he followed the mubarak policy. which is basically to try to broker a deal between hamas and israel. and why did dough that? because israel's defense budget today is larger than that of all its neighbors put together. that doesn't even begin to get into the technological advantages it has, the qualitative advantages it has. the enormous advantage of being the only country in the middle east that has sophisticated nuclear weapons on sophisticated delivery systems. and so when confronting that, yes, the turks will make very fine speeches in favor of the palestinians and the egyptians will shed crocodile tears but none of them will do anything because they are deterred. [applause] >> if israel did not believe in deterrence, why has it gone through the enormous expense of
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building a nuclear arsenal? it's presumably to deter its enemies not to use it. [applause] >> let's bring that direct point to you. some people have commented that when the conflict between israel and gaza suggests is that israel needs some deterrence on its military action, its range of military action, to force it to a negotiating table, to find a solution for negotiation, not through conflict. how do you respond to that line of argument? >> i think we have to go back to iran. i don't know what we are doing in gaza right now. [laughter] because we're speaking about iran. and basically the argue mingt that the cold war deterrence precipice of going to war in the middle east are wonk. because just listen to sanjani. he was the president of iran. and what he has said, that
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israel is a one-bomb country. very tiny. very small. and the proud islamic nation can absorb three to four bombs. is that deterrent? no, it's not. and, you know, when the americans and the soviets were doing the calculation, both of them have lived in this war. they want to continue to live in this war. we have a business with people who think about the second war. the second life. they invented the suicide bombers. they sent kids to open field mines in the war with iraq. these people are rational but it's not our rational. it's different. they have to call somebody over will and i'm very, very worried about the way they are making
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their decision. [applause] >> ok, let's spend one more moment on this before moving on to the question of proliferation because that's a big one. vali, you've written a series of books on iran, a country from which you were born. why is yadlin wrong to think that there's this rational messianic force, maybe not amongst the iranian people, but amongst the elite and the leadership who could make the decision of whether to engage in a nuclear conflict or not? >> well, the fact that people are willing to die for a cause is not unique to muslims. during world war ii you had japanese cam cazzy. suicide bombing is the poor man's missile system and it's been proven very effective and that's the reason it's being used. secondly, rulers always can manipulate the popular beliefs of foot soldiers to get them to sacrifice themselves for a greater cause. it's not unique to iran, it's happened all over the world. and not only in iran, across
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the muslim world, the person, the foot soldier who is willing to commit suicide for a cause, you know, can believe in anything. but the generals don't believe in that. the iranian leaders are old men. they didn't get to that age by actually believing in suicide bombing. they didn't -- laws they didn't carry -- [applause] not one of them carried it against the regime, not one of them has sent his own sons to carry out the suicide regimes. yes, of course yadlin is right in the terms that the morality of this regime is abhorrent and they use poor, uneducated fanatical kids to achieve their strategical objectives but there is no evidence that iranian rulers actually make their calculations on the basis of wishing to expedite their own departure to the next world. [applause] >> let's move on to the theme of nuclear proliferation. because it's a key one.
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and to do that, over the last week or so we caught up with a few international policy thinkers to get their reflections on this debate and we're going to bring them to you in the form of video clips now. the first of these was senator george mill mitchell who we spoke to in washington, d.c., earlier this week. he's the former u.s. senate majority leader but more importantly he was barack obama's u.s. special envoy for middle east peace until 2011. let's listen to that clip and then i'm going to have charles react. >> thank you and good evening. the debate on this subject has tended to focus on the threat to israel from a nuclear-armed iran. that's a serious concern which i share. and i'm sure it will be discussed this evening. there's another aspect of the subject that i think deserves discussion as well. and that's the threat to the nuclear nonproliferation regime. or stated more simply, the
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danger of the rapid spread of nuclear weapons to many countries. the united states led the world into the nuclear age and ever since has led the effort to restrain the spread of these highly destructive weapons. with some success. in the half century since the first atomic bomb was exploded over the desert in new mexico, nine countries have come to possess nuclear weapons. but the number of countries with the capability to possess those weapons is many times more than nine. those countries, which have to voluntarily refrained from developing nuclear weapons, one of which of course is canada, have relied instead on the nuclear nonproliferation treaty and on american leadership. if iran gets a nuclear weapon that could change. it could trigger an arms race
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in the middle east, as several countries there move quickly to get their weapon. and it's already a highly volatile and very dangerous place. right now israelis and palestinians are dying. the ancient hostility between persianans and arab remain high. as does the internal conflict between sunni and shi'a muslims. which has gone on since the founding of islam. >> ok, charles, it was a big part of your opening argument, the case for stopping iran to allow the nonproliferation treaty to continue. go deeper on that for us. why do you think this particular region is so different than the examples that fareed and nasr have given with china, with russia, with india and pakistan and most recently with north korea? >> because the conditions, geopolitical conditions are
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cadically different. they keep referring back -- radically different. they keep referring back to this stable cold war deterrence in a bilateral relationship between two established world powers, the u.s. and the soviet union. first of all, the nostalgia is slightly overdone. anybody who lived through october, 1962, knows how close we came, within hours, of a nuclear war between the united states and the soviet union. so even this great one example of how we can live with this indefinitely shows that kissinger himself talked about this, how inherently unstable it is. it's the only alternative once the soviets have 10,000 weapons and the u.s. also does. there is no alternative. but we're now in a situation in history where iran has none. and we can avoid that. avoid a cuban missile crisis which would be at a much higher, elevated level if iran ever went nuclear. why would we choose a world in
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which iran, this unstable, extremist, islamist, aggressive power, would possess these weapons, a country that declares its intention to annihilate a member state of the u.n.? and you will have noticed that our opponents said nothing about the issue of hyperproliferation. they keep referring to this single example, this stable bilateral deterrence. but what will happen in the middle east, as everybody understands, if you will get all these countries, small but some of them rich, some technologically advanced, developing nukes, and then we have a situation where you go from nuclear checkers, which is really easy, u.s. and soviets, to thrie three-dimensional chest. shifting alliances, revolutionary governments, unstable regimes. imagine in the hands of seven or eight of these chris nuclear weapons, countries where they could easily have access --
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accidental or unauthorized use. they don't have a tradition of civilian control of nuclear weapons as in the west. how easily -- how easy it would be to turn one officer or another, as we see in afghanistan every day, an officer -- afghan will turn on a western ally, and there's also the issue of -- >> signals here of people that want in on this. i'm going to go quickly to fareed and then amos and then nasr. >> it turns out we have an actual historical experiments a ass to whether or not there is proliferation in the middle east. it turns out there was a middle east that had no nuclear weapons and then one middle eastern power introduced nuclear weapons into the middle east. the name of that country is of course israel. israel now has close, as i said, between 200 and 500, depending on whom you believe, very sfiftcailted weapons -- sophisticated weapons. as it turns out, none of the countries surrounding israel,
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which are technically still at war with israel, have gone nuclear as a result of that. so if the hyperproliferation scenario that charles is so devoted to were true, why is it that when their sworn enemy, the country that opposing team keeps reminding us, the arabs hate and want to get rid of, got nuclear weapons, it did not trigger proliferation? >> let me answer that. >> the truth of the matter is every country that has received some kind of security guarantee from the united states has not chosen to proliferate. that's true of japan, that's true of south korea, that's true of canada. the touching faith in the nob fro -- nonfro live ration treaty is rich. the reason people are not proliferating is because they get guarantees from the united states, guaranteeing that the united states has provided to the moderate arab states and of course has provided to israel. but you ask -- >> wait a minute. >> ask you a -- >> a quick rebuttal from
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charles. >> is it rhetorical or were you asking a real question? >> you were asking several, sir. >> you asked why is it that when israel acquires a nuclear weapon you don't get hyperproliferation? the answer is easy and simple. israel has no intention to annihilate a neighboring country. [applause] do you think egyptians, do you think egypt, saudi arabia live in terror that one day out of the blue israel's going to destroy cairo or riyadh? no. the reason that the israeli weapon is not a threat and doesn't cause -- >> let me -- >> wait a minute. i'm trying to answer your rhetorical question. >> israel isn't worried about a war with israel. >> you can ask rhetoricals and make a speech or you can ask and i'll give you the answer. everybody understands in the region, israel is not going to start nuclear aggression. it's inconceivable. whereas iran, which is interfering -- intervening in gaza, arming in hezbollah, it's
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intervening in syria and elsewhere, is a nation that when it threatens to annihilate another, people take seriously. and the saudis aren't acting or pretending or being cynical when they say if iran -- >> let's -- we have a lot of people -- >> hold on a second. >> equal time for all the debaters. i'm going to go to vali nasr and then back to you, amos. . >> the threat is in the eyes of the beholderment the countries do take israeli capability as a game changer. maybe not annihilation but game changer. there is no evidence that actually hyper proliferation would happen. it seems to be more of an american argument in order to basically argue against the case of iran going nuclear. it looks like we have done more to those countries to try to say that they want to go nuclear, we are supporting egypt, u.a.e.,
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saudi arabia, jordan all of them to establish nuclear facility, and i don't think actually countries can easily build nuclear capabilities in the middle east. iran's nuclear program goes back several decades to the time of the shah. those of meese countries don't have the infrastructure to build a nuclear weapons program, and the general said saudi arabia can go to pakistan and get it. what are we doing here? these two countries are allies. we have much more leverage to prevent proliferation in this region than we had with iran. to me it seems we are making the case for all these countries to go nuclear because it proves our case against iran but there is no evidence for it. >> ok. general. >> the fact that you repeat and repeat again and repeat again a lie is not making it at all. i'm speaking the number of bombs that israel has. israel declares this will not the be the first to introduce
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nuclear weapon to the middle east. israel is the only country that under a threat it will be wiped off the map. i don't recognize any other country in the middle east. and whenever our neighbor will make peace with us, i guess even the capabilities that we have, will not be there. so israel's behaved very responsibly. let us talk about anything besides convention isal weapons. so it's a different behavior if you compare it to the way the iranans are speaking and what they are doing. i described what they are doing all over the middle east and you cannot ignore it. vali you know, and you read as i read, the weekly. and the sawedries are saying we
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are not going to tolerate a nuclear iran. and believe me, they are your allies, but they don't trust you anymore. they don't trust you because of what's happening in egypt. they don't trust you because are you not stopping iran from becoming nuclear. they don't trust you because of the israeli-palestinian issue. they will become nuclear, no doubt about it. and we already spoke about a motive player, balance in the middle east which is so unstable. and so dangerous that it's not only us that don't want to live in this neighborhood. it's you that don't want to live in the neighborhood. because when iran will be the hedgea mon, the price of oil will be $200, $300 a barrel and it will stay there forever. it's your problem, it's not ours. >> two interventions on this point. we'll go to fahreed. >> i think it's very important for us to have a conversation
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about what happens with the strategy that the opposing team want take place. we are living in a world of bad choices. that's the world of international relations, world of international politics. you don't have wonderful, clean solutions that make the problem go away. so imagine the scenario what we do is the united states and/or israel goes and nages in the third middle eastern war in a decade. we go and strike iran. what is going to happen? if we cannot tolerate it, the logical consequence is one you will have to live with. let's play it out. what will happen is the regime will get strengthened. it happens everywhere. one week after 9/11, george w. bush's approval ratings from 91%. the green movement will be destroyed in iran. the regime will be able to rebuild its capabilities very easily. the nuclear budget for iran for the nuclear civilian program is currently $300 million. they make about $50 billion off
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their oil revenues. this is a drop in the bucket. they will have radicalized the middle east. they will have gained purchase on the arab. all this for a two year delay? three year delay? what are you going to do? bomb them every two years? hope that one day that somehow in our fantasy version the country that we keep bombing turns into a moderate liberal democracy and suddenly embraces western values? [applause] far more likely is of course that they will get radicalized and even more radicalized -- imagine if we had done what charles wanted in the 1950's and had to roll back strategy, he said we couldn't do it with the soviets once they got 10,000 missiles. they didn't in the 50's. there were many people arguing we should have had a preemptive war. imagine if we had done that in china and engaged in preemptive war in china. would any of these regimes have meloed?
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would they have gotten integrated into the world the way they have? no, they would have been radicalized, violent, unstage regimes. that is the fate we are condemning ourselves to if we launch another war in the middle east. [applause] >> charles, one of the -- >> identified' like to answer. not -- i'd like to answer. not re torquically. >> if we ask questions in here we at least accept there might be an answer. if a read is giving us the scenario -- fahreed is giving us the scenario if and when they attack he went on and on here and elaborated in all the detail. the problem with his analysis is we have two actual empirical historical examples of exactly what he's talking about, the preemptive denuclearization of a country, general, beside me, was
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involved in the first. iraq, 1981. the reaction from iraq, zero. >> did they go to war? did they attack? was there a rally? no. >> that's number one. number two -- >> what pointed out. >> what the inspectors found was an iraqi nuclear program. >> which had been built -- >> he this was 10 years later the west went into iraq and found it had not rebuilt and created a bomb. so it gained a decade. number two, in 2007 there was an attack on the syrian facility from north of korea, that was a nuclear facility. reaction, zero. syria didn't even announce the attack. second, if we had not done that, if the israelis acting on behalf of the west, i would argue, had not done that, what would be
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happening in syria today? the world is terrified about the loose chemical and biological weapons in syria that we know are there and the regime has declared, and the al qaeda elements in syria could easily acquire. that's why we are so ingeleant in the united states standing on the border in jordan as a way to preempt the transfer. the reason there are no nukes involved is because of the preemption. that's why the hyper proliferation is so important. and the blind assurance we get from our opponents that somehow there would be this great reaction to rally to the regime, this regime in iran is detested by the overwhelming majority of the people, and particularly by the young as we saw in the green revolution. it was suppressed. if there were, for example, u.s. attack did not only attack nukes but attacked elements of a regime's strength like the revolutionary guards, that could
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be the occasion for a revival of the revolution. the revolutionary guards who tortured the young people in the streets are not heroes. they would not become heroes had they -- if they were the victims of a u.s. or israeli attack on nuclear facilities. i think it could have opposite effect of the galvanized a population that hates a regime at a time where the regime would be at its weakness. -- weakest. [applause] >> you are the, spert on iran, tell us why that's not true. >> to the first point, syria iraq are not iran. size of population, amount of weight they have in the middle east. the reaction of iran could potentially be different. secondly, i don't know of any population that is going to side with the outsiders bombing its country. especially because this is not about democracy.
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we are not putting sanctions on iran for democracy and human rights. we are not bombing iran for human rights. we are bombing it and pressuring it for something that potentially the iranian people believe in, the technology, their government has told them this is for peaceful purposes and the iranians are probably about as affectionate about their program as the pakistani are about theirs. >> what about libya? >> libya is not iran. >> we bombed the population -- >> you were coming them, not for the nuclear program, you were bombing them to protect them -- >> you just said no government is attacked and the people rally on behalf -- >> no. i said -- >> i gave you an example. >> no, no. >> the pretext matters. what makes you think iranians would rally? example of 1963 when we intervened in iran and the reaction we got suggest the iranians would side with us or the example of the iranny-iraq
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war, the moderate libbral -- >> they hate the regime that shoots young women in the street, tortures demonstrators, and then delivers the body to the family. that's why they would rally. if there were people who opposed their -- >> it happened in libya. they rallied. >> you get the last letter mixed up? we heard this about the iraq war. the iraqis were going to love because -- love us because we were bombing them no freedom. >> [applause] >> how many -- come all the way from israel here. :00 in the morning tel aviv time a few moments -- 3:00, sir, soarry. some time on the stage. -- sorry. some time on the stage. >> the solution is not whether to attack iran only. the resolution is whether the
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world can live with a nuclear iran. and since they don't have argument they went on the attack. we are not suggesting attacking iran. we suggest not let iran being nuked by having a tough sanction, by doing everything that is short of war. this was not done yet. only in the last year the world imposed a crippling sacks. -- sanction. if we would have done it a decade ago it would not be here now. the regime is a hated regime. i heard the argument if you just sanction them, the people will rally behind the regime. never happen. never happen. the people hate the regime. 65% of them are very young and they never knew the shah and they blame the islamic republic
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for all the bad things in iran. i think the time as we go by the tough sanctions will change the regime. we are not calling to attacking iran unless it's the last resort. once again i am not -- i'm not speaking on the other countries. what you have done in iraq was a mistake. but you haval very good air force that can surgically solve the problem. i'm not recommending it yet. [applause] >> let's move on to noir topic. whattle is a munk debate without a little bit of contribution from dr. henry kissinger. we caught up with him in new york last week. let's have a listen to his intervention in this debate. >> thank you.
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for a decade and a half american presidents from both political parties have declared that iranian nuclear military capability is unacceptable. and that no option is off the table in preventing it. if iran emerges from this process, which was joined also by other members of the security council, with a military nuclear capability, the psychological and strategic balance in the region will be transformed. the countries of the region and elsewhere will look to development of nuclear weapons for their own security, nonproliferation as an international goal will be ended or severely jeopardized.
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the availability of western strategy will be severely damaged. let the united states and its allies define what they mean by iranian nuclear military capability and what they mean by the term, unacceptable. >> i want to zero in on that key line of what dr. kissinger said. the credibility of western strategy will be severely damaged. your president in the context of this recent election had to walk towards a red line on iran that's very close to our resolution tonight. it's about capability. it's about the ability to assemble the device as opposed to a working device. in some ways has the train already left the station? is this -- is u.s. position able to walk back from what dr.
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krauthammer and the general are arguing? >> i think first of all how do you argue with that accent, right? he was my debate partner the last time we did the munk debates, so i naturally have great respect for him. i think that the united states' position on that -- on this issue, which is a somewhat technical point but worth going into, is unstandably ambiguous. you do not want to significant isal in advance exactly what point -- at what point you would go to war. you know, who else has exactly the same position? the government of israel. even though the israeli prime minister has been asking washington to draw a redline, israel itself has not drawn a red line, and i would argue they are right not to draw a red line. you want to keep the other guy guessing. you want to keep the pressure on. you don't want to be entirely clear as to when -- you don't want to give the ear person your timetable -- other person your
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timetable. if they do something, an action, invading a country, that triggers an obvious response. in a situation like this, we retain much more room to maneuver and flexibility if we maintain some degree of strategy am big duty -- ambiguity as the israelis are doing. the iranians do not have nuclear weapons. there is something worth pointing out here. not only do they not have nuclear weapons, but the supreme leader of iran has said, has issued a religion edict saying it would be unislamic to have them and the founder of the regime believed it was unislamic to have nuclear weapons. of course they could be lying. but it would be rather odd for a regime that relies on it for its legitimacy on religious edict to unnecessarily issue these even dicts. nobody's asking them to say this stuff. so the fact that they are doing that also suggests iran may have a complicated calculation of its
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own. they want some kind of capacity and that buys them a certain degree of influence, but they are not seeking to have an arsenal already to go. and that reality is the one we have to live with in trying to figure out exactly what iranian action would trigger an american israeli response. and that's why the americans and the israelis understandably are maintaining that ambiguity. >> could i comment on that? of course he could be lying. that's an interesting understatement. here's a regime that fareed has argued has allowed its currency to depreciate by 60%. has had its economy completely wrecked. has been isolated because it's pursuing a nuclear program, and we are to believe that the ayatollah is saying we are not interested. or supersede what we see in front of our eyes. here's a regime -- >> he didn't have a nuclear
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weapon. >> you think iran is not -- you think iran is making a nuclear -- faking a nuclear program? do you think the facility -- >> i'm pointing out -- >> theatrical set? i'm talking about the real world, what's happening right now. >> that was in the real world. i don't know if you got that. >> saddam hussein -- >> he faked. >> therefore the -- one minute. you're saying that iran is faking its nuclear weapon? is that what you're saying? >> both of you were coming at me at the same time. a i'll ask you a question. is iran faking its nuclear weapon? >> no. it has an active nuclear civilian program. i believe that -- serious iranian scholars believe -- >> you want an answer, sir cows iran scholars and intelligence analysts aren't sure as to
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whether they have made a final decision they want to weaponize completely or stop short because that gets them most of the benefits, the influence they seek without actually incuring the cost. that is an issue on which, for example, american intelligence and israeli intelligence -- >> it's an absolutely key point. i want them to respond to that. it's about walking up to that line and not going over it. >> i think somebody -- the iranian are smart mouthed. sophisticated, and they have learned history. and history told them that libya, syria, and iraq didn't warrant. pakistan, india, and north korea did it. and they have learned the lesson. they are not going to the bomb
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as fast as possible. they are going to the bomb as safe as possible. and the strategy that we have discovered is sophisticated strategy. it's to develop a nuclear program that korea can call it civilian, but it is not civilian. it's a very redundant, covert joining the so-called civilian program. they have developed all the capabilities that will enable them to become nuclear at the time of the decision. strategicically they decided to go to a nuclear weapon otherwise they will not suffer all the sanctions and difficulties they have now. they want to go to the nuclear weapon at the time of the will and this will is very difficult to stop them. and iran basically referred to the security council not by
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israel, not by zionist movement, it was referred to the security council by the watchdog in vienna, the iaea, because they conceal, because they lied, because they -- because they found high level of enrichment. because they didn't let the iaea interview the scientists. and any intelligence officer know exactly where they are going. strategicically -- that's what they had to do. if we let them continue with the problem. >> i want to be conscious of our time and the need to get to some of the statements so we can have a final second audience vote before 9:00. vali, i want to give you the last word here before we move to closing statements. >> there are many strategic
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reasons why iran would want nuclear capability, virtual nuclear program, or an actual bomb. as i said it has to do with regime survival and national interest. but if what you are saying is true, then sanctions and diplomacy will not work and we are back to the argument do we want to go to war to stop it? or are we going to agree that we can handle this through a containment and deterrent? you said that aggressive sanctions may work. and that international pressure may work. maybe diplomacy in the second term may work. according to you, they have already made the decision that they are going to do this because it goes down to they don't want to have the fate of syria, iraq, and libya, they want to have the security that north korea and pakistan feel. if that's the case, then the only option on the table is that we either contain them and deter them or that we go to war with them. >> we are going to bring the
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podium out so that opening -- closing statements can take place. we are going to do the closing at the same time in the opposite order of the opening statements. so that means you are up first. >> i was a kid in college i invited caspar weinberger, reagan's defense secretary, to campus to speak. there was a huge amount of commotion and many protests against him all from the left. there were people in the audience who started standing up and chanting against him. and what they kept saying, the phrase they kept using, one after the other, was, deterrence is a lie. because in those days it was the left that didn't understand deterrence because they were emotional and irrational and they felt surely there's got to be a better way around this. it was the wise, wise heads, the
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same people on the right, steeped in realism and history and tragedy, who reminded us of the need for deterrence. one such person very brilliantly put it, he said, almost once every 25 years a new generation discovers the horrors of the bomb and the paradoxes of deterrence and looks for a way out. but alas, he said, there is no way out. deterrence like old age is intolerable. until one considers the alternative. that was charles krauthammer about 25 years ago. [applause] >> so what i want to say to charles is come home, charles krauthammer. come home to the sad necessary task of building a powerful containment and deterrent strategy against iran. of course nobody wants an iran
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with nuclear weapons. of course one wishes to place every obstacle in the way, but at much pressure as possible. of course we want to have precisely the same strategy strategic we had in the cold war so that eventually we create circumstances where the young people of iran can take their country back and they will have acquired the desire for integration with the west and freedom and liberty. and that is the course we are trying to move on. but there is no fantasy solution out there that says, we cannot tolerate this and we are going to go to war instead and we are going to preemptively strike another country in the middle east, and they will love us for it and embrace us. and all of a sudden the problems of the middle east will go away because we will have gotten rid of that evil thing, deterrence. alas, that isn't how it works. international politics will be what persists, international rivalries will persist, the middle east will continue to be a complicated case.
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haven't we just gone through a decade of two wars in the middle east? both of which was sold to us on the promise this was going to usher in a new era which everyone would love the united states and the west and all the problems that existed would goway. and yet we find ourselves in the same situation. so i say come home, charles krauthammer, come home to the kind of reason and history and logic that you once so powerfully believed in and argued in. don't give in because of the fact these guys are different and they are brown somehow we have to have fantastic solutions. [applause] >> oh, google. up next, amos.
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>> once again i have to remind you that this debate is not about attacking iran. this debate is about not letting iran become nuclear. because the world cannot afford a nuclear iran. it is not the same story. it is not really the same story as the cold war. this is a regime calling for destruction of another country. i never remember the united states wants to destroy the soviet union and vice versa. so it's another story. and i think people underestimate what will happen to the m.p.t. and in what kind of world we will live after iran will become nuclear. it's not the issue -- i am a
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general. i fought in many wars. nobody hates wars more than me. i have been there. i saw the blood, i saw the pain, i saw the waste of resources, i saw the cry of the or fans and widows. we call for the world to wake up and stop iran before it will be a nuclear war. and when you run out of argument, you speak about the wars that nobody advocates. we advocate a very tough regime, sanction the regime against iran , and let all worlds join, not only the west, russians, chinese, because iran must be stopped. and iran is not north korea. north korea is not threatening
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the whole east asia, the far east. they don't want to be the hegemon. iran want to be the hegemon in the middle east. what will happen after iran be the hegemon it is very similar to what happened in europe in the 1940's. remember we cannot allow this anymore. as an intelligence officer, you have to give two answers. what is the enemy capabilities, and what is the enemy intentions. capabilities if you have good sources you have good answers. how many missiles they have. how many kilograms of uranium you have. on intentions you have to be more cautious. but the iranians in the open tell everybody their intention. they want to destroy israel. we have to take it very seriously and to stop iran from being nuclear. thank you.
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>> vali, you're next. >> cautions and learnings quite seriously he, and i do think they are important and stark choices that face us and will face the new american administration going forward. we think of the biggest issues in the middle east being iran only because it's a dictatorial regime. it's abusing its population. it's haunting israel. and it's neighbors. it supports terrorism. and it's going nuclear. when we think about decision abouts iran we have to also know that every decision has a context. the context is the following.
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that iran is not the only issue in the region, we are also seeing in the middle east it is falling apart from across the board from tunisia, libya, egypt, to bahrain. the regime after regime is becoming unstable. we are seeing rise of extremism. we are seeing major shift in this region. we are not going to be dealing with iran in a vacuum. and therefore the decisions we make have to be viewed to what it means for the region. we are also dealing with a united states that is tired of war. that it has not done well in the two big wars it conducted in the middle east. it doesn't have the record to show for it. it spent trillions of dollars. a lot of blood and treasure. it has not been able to accomplish its objectives. whether it's in afghanistan or whether it's in iraq. and it's very clear that the americans are more interested these days in nation building at home as the president put. these are important context to bear in mind.
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hopefully the iranian regime will change as dr. krauthammer and the general said. hopefully the administration will take diplomatically very seriously and by some miracle there is a breakthrough in the short run. or that sanctions really change the iranian government's mind and they change course, but the diplomacy, sadgeses, regime in iran are not synchronized with the clock for building iran's nuclear capability. it is quitelike, quite possible that iran may go nuclear before any of these things take effect. before sanctions and vigorous they are produce the result or before there is a democracy movement. then we are really left with two voices. we either find a way to contain and deter a nuclear iran, or we go to war with it. and if we go to war with it, then we have to be prepared for
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what that war would entail. and it may very well be we would be far more costly and far more destabilizing to the region than the wars in iraq and afghanistan were. we start the sectarian war in the middle east. the shiia-sunni war the commentators talked about is another war that's equally intolerable. thank you. >> charles krauthammer, you have three minutes on the clock and the final word. >> so much error, so little time. i will address two points. yes, i believe in every word i wrote in defense of deterrence in 1984 dealing with the u.s. and the soviet union, and it remains true today. but the idea that some technique like deterrence because it worked in one context will
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always work is mindless. i would say to my friend, fareed, wake up to the reality that israel and iran is not u.s.-soviet. wake up to the fact that the nature of the regime is completely different. that the regime in iran unlike the atheistic regime in the soviet union has an apop lick particular -- apop lit particular millennialist. wake up to the idea that in the 70 years of the soviet union they never once sent out a suicide bomber. but for iran, martyrdom is the royal road to heaven. wake up to the idea that for the jihadists who we are fighting around the world in the words of al qaeda, you love life, we love death. try deterring that. wake up to the idea that the nature of the dispute is completely different. russia was an ideological
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contest with the united states. it never sought to wipe it off the map. iran believes that the existence of israel is a crime against humanity that is has to cure. and lastly, wake up to the idea that the iranians themselves, the mullahs, have told us what they intend in a nuclear exchange. again, president an januaryy, application of an atomic bomb would not leave anything in israel but the same thing will just produce damages in the muslim world. in other words, israel would forever and instantly be wiped off the map, whereas the muslim nation of 1.8 billion people would endure, with some damage, but would endure. that is a radical difference in history between deterrence in the 1980's and deterrence today. two mindlessly applied and say
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it worked in the past it will work in the future i think is completely unwarranted. and remember the stakes. we are assured by the other side deterrence will work. they don't know and we don't know if it will work or not, but imagine the risks if they are wrong. six million jews are dead. the eradication of israel. hyper proliferation in the middle east. and iranian domination of the middle east and of the oil economy in the world. do any of you want to live with that? thank you very much. [applause] >> ladies and gentlemen, it's clear why people have called this debate one of the toughest local foreign policy challenges of a generation. we have had two sharply contrasting arguments tonight.
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eloquently presented by both of these teams of debaters. big round of applause for all of them. [applause] now, let me reiterate something munk has said in the past. it's one thing to give a set piece speech on the subject you are intimately familiar with, quite something different to come in front of an informed audience like this and to make your case with passion and conviction. the question in front of all of us is which of these two teams of debaters has been able to sway public opinion in this. i'm glad i don't have a ballot because i think it will be a tough vote. but before we make that second vote, let's just quickly remember where public opinion was at in this hall at the commencement of tonight's debate. let's have those results up on the screen.
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these the percentage of those who support the resolution, 60, against 23 undecided. large slide we saw large number of you who could potentially change your vote. this debate is very much in play as you go to check off your second ballots. we will announce the results in the lobby before 9:00 p.m. where you can also purchase books of all of our past munk debates. a great christmas gift, ladies and gentlemen, as we enter the holiday season. just finally, because this is our 10th semiannual debate, a great accomplishment by the foundation, let's celebrate a bit. we have included a complimentary drinks ticket. enjoy responsibly but have one on us in the lobby. let's gather together shortly before 9:00 with the results of the second audience vote. thank you van hollen everybody for coming. a great -- thank you again everybody for the coming.
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[captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2012]
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>> both chambers of congress are in today. although the house did gavel out earlier without taking up any legislative matters. last night members of both parties came together to approve the fiscal cliff deal which now heads to president obama for his signature. earlier today democrats and republicans, many of whom represent districts that are impacted by hurricane sandy, came to the floor of the house expressing their anger after getting word that the house republican leadership wasn't planning to take up any supplemental spending measure. helping those affected by the storm in october. the senate did approve a $60 billion measure on friday. new jersey governor chris christi also expressed his frustration, speaking from the governor's office in trenton this afternoon, he just wrapped up a press conference, and here's a quick look at what he had to say. >> new jersey and new york are among the most generous states in the nation to our fellow states. we vote for disaster relief for other states in need.
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we are donor states. spending much more -- sending much more to washington, d.c., than we get back in federal spending. despite this history of unbridled generosity, in our hour of desperate need, we have been left waiting for help six times longer than the victims of katrina, with no end in sight. americans are tired of the political partisanship of this congress which plays one upsmanship ahead of the lives of the citizens who sent these people to washington, d.c. in the first place. new jerseyans and new yorkers are tired of being treated like second class citizens. new york deserves is better than the selfishness we saw displayed last night. new jersey deserves better than the duplicity we saw on display last night. america deserves better than just another example of a government that's forgotten who
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they are there to serve and why. 66 days and counting. shame on you. shame on congress. despite my anger and disappointment, my hope is that the good people in congress, and there are good people in congress, will prevail upon their colleagues to finally, finally put aside the politics and help our people. now. that's the only hope we have left. is for the good people to prevail upon the others. one thing i can assure the people of this region is this, governor cuomo and i will not stop fighting together to see that justice is done and our citizens suffering is finally addressed by this congress. >> that news conference wrapping up just a couple minutes ago. happening after governor christie spoke with president obama about the lack of a spending solution for hurricane sandy victims.
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here's what's some house members had to say about the failure of oufer republican leadership to bring a standing aid bill to the floor before the end of the session. this is from earlier today. >> the fact is as congresswoman lowey said within 10 days of can treeno $60 billion was appropriated. that number ended up going well over $100 billion. there is now nine weeks and nothing has been appropriated at all by this congress from the people of new york, new jersey, connecticut, long island which i
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represent. and the fact is that over the last five, six, seven weeks we did everything that the republican leadership asked us to do. governor cuomo came down. i was at the meeting. he met with the speaker. governor christie came down, he met with the speaker. mayor bloomberg came down, he met with the majority leader. we were asked to submit detailed documentation. governor christie, governor cuomo, mayor bloomberg all submitted absolute documentation. when we asked is anything else required? no. you have given us all we need. when the bill came from the senate we were told there was pork in the bill. that was taken out of the bill. the bill that was going to be voted on the house floor was exactly in compliance with what the republican leadership asked us to do. let me just say at this time in my dealings with them, the majority leader cantor has been very straightforward, very direct. last night i know that he was fighting to get the bill on the calendar. it was the speaker for whatever reason walked off the floor and said that the bill was being
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pulled. i don't enjoy saying this. i consider myself a personal friend of john boehner, and john boehner personally has been very helpful to me over the years. so it pains me to say this. the fact is dismissive attitude that was shown last night toward new york, new jersey, connecticut typifies i believe a strain in the republican party. i know this is not the place to discuss politics, but that politics seeps over into a governmental decision that was made. i can't imagine that type of indifference, that type of disregard, that cavalier attitude being shown to any other part of the country when people we are talking about real life and death situations here, just have the speaker walk off and not tell us. tell an aide to the majority leader who tells us that we tell the majority leader that the item that means life and death was taken off the calendar and is gone for this session? they say it's going to be brought back up in january. the fact is let's be real. we are not in session next week. the following week we are in
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session for two days. the following week is the inauguration. then we have the state of the union. committees haven't even organized yet. and does anyone believe if they wouldn't vote the $60.4 billion last night that the appropriations committee is suddenly going to get religion and vote the full amount when we know what their attitude is? that somehow money going to new york, new jersey, connecticut is corrupt. when money going to their sits is so honorable? i would just say that these people are no problem finding new york when it comes to raising money. it's only when it comes to allocating money that they can't find the able to do it. i'm standing here on the house floor tonight saying we have a moral obligation as republicans, as democrats, as americans. i spoke to governor christie, governor cuomo. we have been in constant contact with mayor bloomberg. we cannot believe that this cruel knife in the back to our region. i have to go home this weekend and next week and the week after and see the hundreds and thousands of people who are out
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of their homes, don't have shelter, don't have food, and they are living with relatives, friends, living in trailers. this is not the united states of america. this should not be the republican party. this should not be the republican leadership. i'm asking the speaker, tell hal rogers, tell these people to somehow become very sanctimonious when it comes to dealing with new york and new jersey they have an obligation to do what they have to do and that's provide the aid and relief we need. if there is one penny that they have a problem with, let us know. don't walk out in the dark of night and ignore us. i yield back my time. >> the gentleman yields back. the chair recognizes the gentleman from new jersey, mr. pallone, for 2 1/2 minutes. >> i thank my colleague from new york, mr. king, for his remarks. i appreciate what he said. this is not a republican or democratic issue. we shouldn't be plitized. natural disasters and responding
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to them are what i have seen over my 25 years of congress are what bring us together to try to help people. and the speaker should not use this opportunity to tear us apart. i was here last night when we got the word through congressman king that the speaker was going to pull this bill. what the message said was, well, we can do this in january. we'll do it sometime later in january. in the new congress. as congressman king said, we can't wait. my district was devastated by this storm. i would ask the speaker pain boehner, come to sea bright, new jersey. drive through sea bright, new jersey, a town that has less than 2,000 people. the business district is totally destroyed. one or two stores have reopened. the rest are closed. most of the people still have not been able to return to the town. go to union beach, new jersey, also in my district, where you can see that now everything is exposeds -- exposed. we still have people that do not have place to stay. that are looking for an apartment or staying in motels or looking for a trailer to be
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placed next to their homes and still don't have it. we need to do -- rebuild now. we need to act now. we can't wait for the next congress or another couple weeks or another couple months. what i don't understand, mr. speaker, is how is it possible that this has become a political issue? it is clear that we are here today, we can vote on this. the votes are clearly there. we should have an open debate. that's what democracy is all about. and all of a sudden because the tea party or some conservative element is worried that they have to vote on another spending bill, all of a sudden the speaker says, we can't do this today. this is politicizing the situation that should not be political. and it is another example of what i call the do-nothing congress. this congress did very little. it had fewer bills passed than anybody's memberry. rather than go out on this negative note about not bringing up an emergency because of the hurricane, one of the devastating natural disaster,
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why not do something positive on a bipartisan basis, mr. speaker, bring this up. leapt us have an open debate. we are still here. and don't let this congress die on this negative note. let it build on a positive note so when we come in and sworn in on thursday that we can show that we can work on a bipartisan basis. i have never seen anything like it. to me it is just deplorable. thank you, mr. speaker. >> mr. speaker, sometimes events occur that are so out of the ordinary, so unusual as to defy belief. such is the decision of the speaker last night not to permit this house to vote on relief on aid for the three states and some other areas that were devastated by hurricane sandy. i have been in this house for 20 years. there have been many disasters. floods, hurricanes, tornadoes, earthquakes, wildfires.
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in every single instance this house has voted aid for the appropriate, for the necessary states. in every single instance. usually within a week or two. never more than three. it has now been nine weeks since october 29 when hurricane sandy devastated three states and parts of more. nine weeks. senate passed a bill to aid us. the house was ready. the bill was prepared. an amendment was prepared. we were assured the bill would be on the floor. last night or today. the last minute the speaker, without even talking to republicans, not to mention democrats from new york, refusing to meet with them, suddenly pulled the bill and said we wouldn't have a vote. as if the people in new york, connecticut, pennsylvania, new jersey are not in aid. as if thousands of people are still not without heat, without water. as if thousands of small
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businesses don't need loans and aid so that they don't go under. as if thousands of people do not need help to rebuild their homes. to clear their trash from their properties. as if hundreds of municipalities don't need aid to finance this activity having used up all their budgets for that purpose. we are told by the chairman of the appropriations committee, we'll get a bill on the floor later this month in the next congress. it's already nine weeks. it's already an unprecedented length of time. why? are new yorkers and pennsylvanians and new jersey residents less americans than the people we aid in the midwest and the south when we vote for aid for those people? because they are the victims of natural disasters. how can we treat an entire region of the country this way? it is the most disgraceful action i have seen in this house in the 20 years i have been here. i see that we are told that will fema still has money until march.
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it's not just fema. it's the small business administration that needs the appropriation now to help small businesses now. it's the army corps of engineers that needs the authorization in the appropriation now to help the municipalities. to help the people who are victimized. there is no excuse for this. none. it is a betrayal of the people of those states. it is a betrayal of the people of united states -- of the united states. it is a betrayal by the speaker personally of the members of this house not to permit a vote. i have never seen an action like it. i hope i never see it again. i urge the speaker to reconsider and rectify this decision today because today is the deadline to avert going down in history as shameful. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. the chair recognizes the gentleman from new york. mr. grimm, for five minutes.
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>> thank you, mr. speaker. it's very difficult to stand here and have to speak to my constituents knowing that we are going to break, we are going to end this congress and i'm going to go and walk the streets in midland beach, south beach, in taughtenville and i'm going to meet with homeowners that i have been meeting with for nine weeks now and i can't tell them that everything's going to be ok. because as of right now everything is not ok. in fact, it's far from ok. i don't often agree with my colleague that just spoke, mr. nadler, on a lot of substantive issues, but i have to agree with him today. and that is not an easy thing for me to do because there was a betrayal.
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there was an error in judgment that is going to cost, i think, the trust of the american people not for me individually, not necessarily even for the members individually here today, but for this body as a whole as we move forward. i couldn't be more proud to be an american. i used to tease people that i bleed red, white, and blue. since i was young i knew i would serve in the military. and i did. i would have given my life for this country time and time again. and then even later on i put myself in harm's way serving with one of the greatest organizations this country has to offer with the federal bureau of investigation. huge honor. and i really, really felt when i took my oath as a member of congress that it would be a level of service that would even
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outweigh my prior service, because i was going to be in a position to help my fellow americans every way that i could and to actually go out and touch my friends, neighbors, even those that didn't support me or had different political ideologies, i was going to be able to use the work ethic that i inherited from my father to make their life a little better. that's why i took this job. to make people's lives a little better. to make life in the united states a little better. and i'm not able to do that today. and i don't understand why. and i think it's inexcusable that we did not have this vote and bring those that are suffering, those men and women
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that are looking at their children right now and they are not sure what to tell them because they have lost their small business, their only source of income. and why is that important? well, because the s.b.a. and fema and all the government officials that hit the ground when superstorm sandy hit explained that if you didn't get money into the hands of these small businesses almost immediately, then most likely they would go under. if you don't start rebuilding right away, people start to become depressed and they lose hope. let's not even discuss the economic impact. so to delay this vote even for another day is something that will resonate not only with the people that have been affected and are suffering and have lost everything, but i think it will
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resonate with the american people for a long time, and i think it will make them wonder what we are here for and what is the role of the federal government, what is the role of the congress, and maybe most importantly, can they trust us? so it is with a heartfelt apology that i apologize to my constituents, to my fellow new yorkers in need, those in new jersey, connecticut, and pennsylvania. i did all that i could. i will not stop, i will not relent, and i will continue to push for this vote to come as quickly as possible, but there is no rhyme or reason and it is inexcusable that it has not come already. and you are in my thoughts and my prayers. and i will be there on the ground as soon as i get back to new york to help as much as i can knowing that i'm not helping nearly enough because we don't
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have the funding to do so. i want to thank my colleagues across the aisle that have been exemplary. it has been an honor to work so closely with you on these efforts. it has been not only bipartisan but bicameral. governors, mayors, all across the aisles have weighed in and that is something i will treasure and will continue to do as we move forward knowing that we should not have to be here today. i thank you. i yeed back. . >> last night republican leadership reneged on their commitment to vote on aid for the families in the states that were devastated by superstorm
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sandy. they were told it's because republicans -- we were told it was because republicans just couldn't stomach any additional votes in this congress. i wonder if those same people walked along the beaches of long beach in long island, breezy point in bell harbor and rockaway beach in gregg meeks' district, staten island or seaside heights in new jersey. if they could stomach the devastation they would witness. stomach the lives that were lost. stomach the homes that have been destroyed or the families that have been displaced. stomach the businesses that are closed and in many places have been lost. in the weeks after the storm, my republican colleagues told us, not all by the way, and i want to point out that mr. grimm and mr. king, mr. dold and others were very, very helpful, but the leadership i'm talking about told us they were
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with us and that they would support us. but i guess those were only words because last night we learned the truth. that thanks to their actions, there's no additional federal assistance to help hardworking people rebuild and restart their lives. now, i'm not a cynic but i do wonder what if we told republicans that a few millionaires and billionaires' lives were destroyed by this storm, whether they'd want to help all the families hurting because of sandy. and i wonder what if republicans were promised that by providing aid to families in need that in turn they would get a tax break. would these incentives have changed their mind? would it have been -- would it have prompted action? because it truly does appear their only priority is helping those that have the most. republicans in congress brought this house to a new low last night.
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the banner on the speaker's chair says, in god we trust. god alone cannot help these families rebuild but unfortunately the american people cannot trust the republican congress to help either. the only thing my republican colleagues did this week was to serve up false hope to the people who have been devastated by this storm. false promises, false guarantees that would be there to help them in their time of need. many of you know that my cousin john moran, i don't speak about john often, was killed on 9/11. he came from the rockaway community. there was a monument on the beach, on beach 118th street, there were i would say dozens of monuments, as congressman meeks knows, along the rockaway peninsula. they were destroyed by hurricane sandy. it didn't stop my family and his neighbors to go out and sift through the feets of sand to find that memorial, it was that precious to them. they didn't wait for the federal government to come help pull them up by their boot straps. they did it themselves.
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they continue to do it. they're humble people, proud people. throughout this entire region. that have been affected by this. they will recover. but sadly to say, no thanks to the 112th congress. >> mr. speaker, it was to my profound disappointment that i learned last night that the house would adjourn the 112th congress without providing assistance to the victims of superstorm sandy. i am joined today by many of my colleagues from the jurisdictions that these people received the most damaging blow . my district did not sustain the extreme damage that those in new york, new jersey and connecticut did. the president declared several maryland counties eligible for federal assistance from this storm. but it was mine. and my citizens are not in dire
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circumstances. but the citizens of some whom we will hear from today in that condition. those counties joined hundreds in the 1,000-mile dam ter of this storm -- diameter of this storm. the largest geographically in the history of the atlantic hurricanes. now at best, the speaker has said that sandy's victims will need to wait until the next congress to receive assistance. wait they say to millions who are in pain and in distress. we should not be waiting, mr. speaker. we should be voting this very morning which i tell you, mr. speaker, i expected to happen from my discussions with the majority leader. as i said last night, i went with congressman gregg meeks to
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breezy point and the rockaway in new york. and what i saw there, mr. speaker, in sandy's aftermath defied description and demanded action. to those who say that fema has not yet disbursed all the funds it has to assist families and businesses, i would tell them that they deeply underestimate the damage in these areas and the wide range of assistance required to alleviate the pain and suffering. at a park i saw the mountains of debris that the corps of engineers had begun to remove from neighborhoods. that debris represents people's lives, homes and businesses. with this legislation we would have provided up to 1.-- $1.6 billion to the corps to continue removing debris so families could begin rebuilding. would we have had to borrow that money? yes, just as if the furnace
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went out and the temperature was at zero, you would immediately replace the furnace to capital the family safe -- to keep the family safe and borrow the money to do so. and yes we would have had to repay it and we would. this bill would have allocated $6 million in emergency aid for food banks, food banks to make sure that people in the richest country on the face of the earth have some sustenance for them and their children. i saw an area of breezy point where more than 100 homes were devastated by fire when an electric transformer malfunctioned. the many fire fighters who lived in that neighborhood could not get additional help from surrounding burrows to the severe flooding. they battled mightily. they saved many lives. but there is little left, indeed none of their homes. i saw local businesses, mr. speaker, which had been there for years, completely destroyed. waiting for the $620 million of
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s.b.a. assistance this bill would have provided. we talked a lot about not imposing burdens on small business by additional taxes. these small businesses are out of business. without our help. we walk away today from nearly $4 billion in assistance to help reconstruct rockaway beach and other places which is critical to the area's economic recovery and important to prevent further storm damage. finally there is also the toll on transit and infrastructure, including inundated subway and traffic tunnels that were referred to last night. this bill would have provided up to $10.9 billion for transit and $2.2 billion for highways to help make sure that the area is not just cleared of water, about but repaired. if small business is going to be able to operate, it will be because consumers and customers can get to them an get to the school an get to the hospital an get to their families.
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waiting to act until later this month when members are here and ready to vote last night is not -- is not the right choice. no member of this house could travel to the northeast, see the damage, and tell anyone in those areas to wait, wait for us to act. wait for us to help. wait for us to come to your aid. we cannot and we should not wait. we must not walk away. mr. speaker, i urge the speaker of this house to reconsider and to act immediately. now, now, now is the time to act. and i yield back the balance of my time. >> mr. speaker, we're here this
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morning, we're here for the fellow citizens who didn't put up a christmas tree or light amy nora or celebrate their holiday at home this year because they have no home. we're here for the boardwalk merchants who are not going to be starting their businesses up again this memorial day, along the boardwalk, because there's no business and there's no boardwalk. we're here because a lot of people's lives are devastated. it's important to understand what we are and are not asking for. we are not asking that every member of this chamber follow our lead and vote yes in favor of the bill the senate has already passed. we are simply asking that every member of this chamber have the opportunity to vote on that bill. president kennedy said
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governing is choosing. we are prepared to choose an investment in the recovery of our neighbors and our country. we respect those who would make a different choice. but we cannot abide by those who would say they would make the choice of doing nothing at all. letting the clock run out on this congress, which means that we have to start all over again , all over again. while the people that i talked about for whom we are here this morning, they need to start all over again. they need to get back to their homes, back to their businesses, back to their lives. and as we delay, we delay that possibility for them. every member has the right to exercise his or her own conscience on he any piece of legislation. no member has the right to deprive the rest of us of the same opportunity for our constituents. we should meet today, we should vote today, we should move forward today.
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>> the gentleman's time has expired. the chair now recognizes the gentleman from new york, mr. reid, for five minutes. >> thank you, mr. speaker. i rise today, mr. speaker, to join my colleagues on the other side of the aisle. i come from a district in new york that was not impacted by hurricane sandy. but i come to this floor today, mr. speaker, to express my frustration, my disappointment and the decision that was made to not bring up the hurricane sandy supplemental aid for the people of new york, new jersey, connecticut. our fellow citizens as americans who have suffered devastating impacts. now, mr. speaker, i understand what some of the dynamics of the bill is about. i understand that the senate has put forth a bill that many on my side of the aisle have expressed concern about.
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pork type of activity that the senate continues to engage in with fisheries and smithsonian funding and things like that that don't really have much to do with hurricane sandy. but that's a separate issue. that could be -- could have been addressed and should be addressed by this body in cleaning up that bill and getting the aid, getting the resources to the people that are suffering today. mr. speaker. and that was the intended plan. that we were going to let the will of the house be. clean up the bill that the senate had produced but most importantly done what is right for our fellow citizens. because if there is not a better purpose of the federal government, that is for the federal government to stand with our citizens when they are suffering the most. especially, mr. speaker, when
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they are suffering from a natural disaster such as that of hurricane sandy. i ask and i join with my colleagues on the other side of the aisle again for our leadership to change the decision that was made to let the clock run out on this congress and deal with this issue tomorrow. we don't have the luxury of waiting until tomorrow. these people are suffering today. i talked to my colleagues of the districts that were impacted by this devastating storm and i have heard the horror stories. i've heard the stories of suffering, of the many millions of people who were impacted in the new jersey and new york outside of my district, and i think it is right and it's just and it's proper for us to hear the stories of those individuals and make sure that we stand with them and take
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this bill up now rather than kick it to the next congress and god knows when we actually get to it in that congressional session. so i join my colleagues on both sides of the aisle, let us do what is right, mr. speaker. bring this bill to the floor and get on with the business of attending to our fellow citizens as americans. and with that i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from new york yields back. the chair now recognizes the gentleman from new jersey, mr. pascrell, for 2 1/2 minutes. >> mr. chairman, i want to wish you the best. i'm glad there's one more democrat but i'm not glad that you're leaving. you're a gentleman. look, i don't think that this is time for a debate. as we say in jersey, it is time
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, calmly, coolly, to take the gloves off. that's the time. there's no precedent here. there is precedent here. i would suggest that the governors, that they should bring us to court. bring us to court. it's fitting. not only did we pass the money for katrina in a very short period of time, part of it was by voice vote, can you imagine? part of it was by a voice vote. within a very short few days after that disaster. so, mr. cantor voted for katrina aid. mr. boehner did. mr. ryan did. mr. mccarthy did. as did nearly every member of the congress from the new jersey and new york region.
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in fact, new jersey and the other states that were hit by sandy are some of the biggest donor states, that is we send a lot of taxes, a lot of taxes to the federal government. now we need our colleagues to step up to the plate. as everyone knows, sandy caused significant damage. in bergen county, new jersey, my district, first responders had to evacuate entire towns when the river rose over a person. the police department will soon be housed in trailers. and reimbursed. let them come to new jersey. let them come to connecticut, the shore of jersey, let them come to long island and staten island and pennsylvania, maryland. let them come. let them see. the mayor of one of the many
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people in my community whose house was decimated by the high water. look, we are unfortunately dealing with a schizophrenic leadership on the other side. let's call it for what it is. let's not mince words. state and local finances are already stretched too thin. have limited or no ability to rebuild alone because the storm resulted in depressed tax collections. we've been working with the members of the house ways and means committee to draft legislation model on tax relief. mr. speaker, as i said, good luck to you. god bless your family. and god bless all of you for coming here this morning. we thought we'd have a short week but our work is still ahead of us. but this is time to stop debating and take the gloves off. jersey style. thank you. >> at the time of katrina,
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harvard professor called the constitution, quote, a contract of citizenship. that promises first and foremost protection. that government will help and i quote citizens to protect their families and possessions from forces beyond their control. in america he writes a citizen has a claim of right on the resources of his or her government when they simply cannot help themselves. when disaster strikes they test whether the contract is respected in the citizens' hour of need. when the levees broke, the contract of american citizenship failed. mr. speaker, the levees broke. they broke in connecticut, in new york and in new jersey. government is about helping families recover and rebuild
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from major disasters like superstorm sandy. in a shocking display of neglect, this house majority decided not to allow a vote on disaster aid funds so desperately needed to recover and repair from this storm. hurricane sandy was one of the most severe storms to hit connecticut in our state's history. all across our region families' houses were destroyed and lives were upended. and whether it has been a fire in the west, a tornado in the midwest, a hurricane in the gulf coast or a storm in the northeast, this body acted. we didn't say no. it was a resounding yes to help because it is the central responsibility of this institution to act on behalf of the american people and yet here we are two months since
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sandy destroyed thousands of homes and businesses, took 100 lives across this nation. this house majority said no on a vote for disaster assistance to help millions of people get back on their feet again. the republican leadership has broken that contract of citizenship. they have said to my constituents in stratford, in milford, in new haven and east haven, westhaven, branford, north branford and gilled for, they said no to the rest of the towns in connecticut and new york and new jersey. they broke the contract of citizenship, they said, you are on your own. my friends, our people cannot be on their own. we have a central responsibility to act on behalf of the american people when they are overwhelmed in circumstances that they had no control over. let us act, let us act today to restore that faith and
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confidence in the american government. >> the gentlelady's time has expired. the chair now recognizes the gentleman from new jersey, mr. holt, for 2 1/2 minutes. >> well, you've heard it. our constituents' lives were devastated by this sandy disaster. it's now been about nine weeks since hurricane sandy brought the winds and the tidal surges. in central new jersey and connecticut, new york, people are hurting. towns have exhausted their emergency funds. and exhausted their borrowing capacity. in other disasters such as the disaster associated with katrina or with wildfires or with any number of other natural disasters this body has acted. and aid has been provided
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quickly. and yet today the speaker is going to allow the 112th congress to adjourn before passing the much-needed disaster relief package. the senate acted on this bill. the aid package here was well constructed, it was ready, all we needed was a vote. and the delay is significant. it adds significantly to the hurt. it is not an exaggeration to say that lives are on the line. people are living wherever they can. they don't have the shelter. they don't have the businesses. they don't have their lives. and the speaker just walks away . that compounds the disaster. the delay compounds the
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disaster. it's been said, well, fema has some money already in their account. that will last for many weeks. but we're not just talking about fema. we're talking about h.u.d. you know, more than $1 billion, actually billions of housing aid. the army corps of engineers, the national oceanic and atmospheric administration, the department of the interior. the agriculture department for food and emergency watershed protection, the e.p.a. for safe drinking water. all of this within this well-constructed package. now it's often been said that the governing principle of the republican leadership is you're on your own. that might actually be a conscientious principle if they really believe in their hearts that your social security should be privately invested or you should pay for a college
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without government help. but this, to say you're on your own after a disaster, is in considerate ath, it breaks our trust, it violates an understanding and it hurts people. >> the gentleman's time has expired. the chair now recognizes the gentlelady from new york, mrs. maloney, for 2 1/2 minutes. >> mr. speaker, this kind of petty partisan posturing is absolutely disgraceful. it's an act of spiteful indifference that will go down in history as a low point in a low era. shame on this house. this house acted quickly after katrina, voting over $60 billion in less than two weeks. it acted quickly for ike and gustav and the tornados in alabama. we were there for other regions of this country.
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this country has to be there for the northeast, 4 states were affected -- 24 states were affected. it has been called the second worst natural disaster in the history of our country. affecting over 17 million people in the most densely populated area of america. we cannot turn our backs on this entire region. every governor, every mayor has talked to the republican leadership. they were assured the money would be there. we cannot rebuild our start to repair without the resources being in place. the northeast are donor states. we give far more to the federal government in taxes than what comes back to us. yet when the natural disaster struck our people we lost lives. we lost businesses. homes. complete devastation of the largest subway system in our
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country, moving eight million people a day. where is the aid and where is the support? mr. speaker, introduce the senate bill tomorrow. let's come back into session, vote it on friday. let's put the aid in place. the american way of being there to help people. you can't pick and choose that certain areas get disaster relief but the area that is the most hard-hit in the history of our country does not receive the disaster aid that has been there for other people? we have been there for you, you need to be there for the northeast. it is devastated. we need federal aid. you cannot repair hospitals, the subway systems, major infrastructures without the support of the federal government. mr. speaker, do not turn your back on america and a region of
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america. you need to support in a bipartisan way the aid that is so desperately needed for the most densely populated area in our country after the worst storm -- second worst storm in the history of our country. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady's time has expired. the chair now recognizes the gentleman from new jersey, mr. smith, for five minutes. >> mr. speaker, the two-tiered amendment disaster relief bill that we had hoped to bring to the floor to get us to the $60 billion that is so desperately needed to assist families, businesses and municipalities devastated by superstorm sandy, our appeal is that there's still time to bring this vital legislation to the floor for a vote and then down to the presidency for signature. numerous towns in my district, mr. speaker, as well as our friends in new york and further north are still coping with and recovering from the most destructive storm ever in our region. and perhaps the second or third most costly in all of american
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history. today families lack housing, businesses are in shambles and municipalities have been decimated. in new jersey some 346,000 housing units were damaged or destroyed, with 22,000 units rendered absolutely uninhabitable. an estimated 11,000 housing choice vouchers will be needed to make sure that residentses at least have a roof over their heads this winter. approximately 100,000 new storm-related unemployment claims have been filed in new jersey. 100,000. attributable to the storm. over 235,000 people in new jersey have already registered with fema for individual assistance. 75% of new jersey's small businesses were adversely affected. 10% of which or nearly 19,000 businesses sustained damage of $250,000 or more. far in excess of the loss to
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businesses from katrina. total business losses are estimated to be a whopping $8.3 billion. furthermore, an estimated 10,000 structures statewide will need to be demolished in 1,000 sites across new jersey will require remediation after hazardous materials discharge. 51 schools sustained serious damage including six that will not reopen this school year. transit, roads and bridges have been damaged to the tune of $2.9 billion. which includes 294 damaged rail cars and 5 damaged locomotives. one of the main roads that runs through my district, route 35, will require an estimated $120 million to repair. power and gas lines are expected to cost roughly $1 billion, understandably given that at the peak power outages left 2.4 million in the dark. waste and water will be required in sewer, about $3 billion to repair and to
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protect. hospitals, assisted living and other health facilities have seen over $150 million worth of storm damage. these facts, and there are many more, underscore the devastation on lease by sandy and it is without precedent. i would say to my colleagues that no recovery is ever accomplished in a single year but it's about predictability and the certainty of funds to rebuild and to restore. then sures that the work proceeds immediately, comprehensively, advocately and without interruption. mr. speaker, for days and weeks, like many of my colleagues, after that horrible storm hit i met with hundreds, even thousands of tenacious women and men who despite crippling losses were happy to be alive and determined to rebuild. i'll never forget one resident in delmar who came up to me the day after hurricane sandy or superstorm sandy and said, i lost everything.
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at least i'm alive. we need to to now backstop these individuals. we need to ensure that the moneys are there. that they flow quickly to ensure that they can rebuild and their homes, their businesses and municipalities that have done a yomen's work in helping them all gather and unite behind them. congress assisted those pummeled by hurricane katrina in 2005 with $62 billion in a mere two weeks. we are now past two months. we need to be clear. the president didn't send this up until december 7. there was a loss of several weeks. we do have a bill. it's about 25% less than what the states have said they needed. they said about $80 billion. it's down to approximately $60 billion. so it is less. and i've seen and gone through the numbers that our state has sent to this body as well as to the president. they are very well vetted. chris christie used to be a u.s. attorney. many of the people around them are all formal -- former
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prosecutors. they hate waste, fraud and abuse and they're trying to ensure that the money's there in the amounts needed to make a difference. finally let me just say, mr. chairman, or mr. speaker, we need to act. as my colleague before me said a moment ago, you know, new jersey, especially new york, we are contributing states. we get back far less from the federal government than we pay in every year. that's a good thing. we have very, very good businesses that really provide employment for our people. but we've been devastated. and i would hope that the speaker will bring this to the floor as quickly as possible, hopefully today, tomorrow, but as quickly as possible because the people who have suffered, the victims deserve no less. i yield back. >> the gentleman from new jersey yields back. the chair now recognizes the gentlelady from california. ms. pelosi, for 2 1/2 minutes.
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>> thank you, mr. speaker. mr. speaker, here we are again today in wonder over the decision that we think has been made by the republican leadership in the house not to bring legislation to the floor that addresses the needs of those affected by sandy. here's the thing. everyone who heard about this since last night when so many members from the new york, new jersey, connecticut, pennsylvania, other delegations, came to the floor to speak about this said, don't tell me that. don't tell me that. don't tell me that you can know, everyone's seen very clearly the devastating damage that was caused by sandy and the need for people to have assistance, that the house would not take up this bill. don't tell me that even though the senate passed a very strong bill addressing the well-documented needs of the people of the affected region that the house is not taking up
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the bill. don't tell me that although the region, the leadership, the governors of new york, governor quomeow, the governor am -- quomeow, the governor of others have immediately addressed the needs to the extent possible by them. in their areas and have documented the need very carefully. don't tell me that the house of representatives is going to ignore that. you know, mr. speaker, much has been said about the need for more civility in politics and in government. and that relates to how we speak together and curb our enthusiasm about issues we care a great deal about and question perhaps the motivation of others. but the real civility that people expect is how this congress treats them.
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and treats their needs and never is that tested more clearly than in the time of a natural disaster. because that's when people feel the most helpless -- hopeless. that's the time had they see whether the government is there for them or not. that's the time where they're not going to be made whole, most of these people. hopefully what they replace will be a good substitute and maybe they can open a door to something new for them. but by and large, by and large it's a long road back. but that first few steps of it, emergency relief that was provided by the localities and now needs to be compensated for, the next stage of recovery is so essential to the character of a community, as mr. tonko said, after the storms last year it affected the character of the communities in his district and that was, what, 2011.
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here we are at the end of 2012 having some of the same region hit again, hit again by nature. with a suddenness and severity, the power of water and in some places fire and just earth-shattering, earth, wind, fire in terms of how it affects people. so as i said last night, nature pulled the rug out from under people literally and figuratively in their communities and in their homes. and their schools and in their workplace. and then are we to say to them, now congress is going to pull the rug out from under you in terms of your hopes and expectations of meeting the needs? don't tell me that. don't tell -- we can't tell our constituents that. that would not rise to the level of civility. for us to turn our backs and ignore their needs. it's just plain wrong.
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so i'm hopeful that perhaps those making this decision have not been affected by almost every place that we're talking about, katrina or california, with earthquakes, drought, flood, fire, you name it, we get it all. with the northeast being hit once, twice within 2011 and 2012, with missouri, with iowa. i visited iowa and saw the floods there. it was devastating. it's really hard unless you see it to understand the impact that it has. the most compelling reason is the look in the eyes of people who ask, what are we going to do to help? how can we help them and what is our answer? we're just too busy, it's not a priority? that's just not civil. so let's honor our responsibility which is again the place where people place their trust. they don't like government, they don't want this, they
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don't want that, but in a time like this, in a time of emergency, it's really when we prove our worth. let's prove our worth and urge the speaker to bring this legislation to the floor, quickly dealt with while the senate is still there, can be sent to the president for his signature and hope can flow from here. instead of a sense of wonderment, of don't tell me that. so let us be able to tell people we know, we feel their pain, we know what they're going through. we can never really know. we can never really know. but we can certainly appreciate their interests in our doing what is right for them. again, i hope and pray, really hope and pray, because we pray for these people. we pray for them all of the time. they're in our prayers. some have lost loved ones. we pray for them. how much prayer would it take for this congress to find it in
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their hearts and their head to do the right thing? so let's pray that we don't have to tell them that we wesht there for them. -- we weren't there for them. [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2013] >> house members from earlier today. a short time ago house speaker john boehner met with a group of new york and new jersey lawmakers, representatives of those states affected by the hurricane and a short time ago, several of them expressed that they may not vote for john bainer to continue as house speaker during leadership votes tomorrow at the opening of the 113th congress. after that meeting, they held a briefing expressing their support for speaker boehner. cnn has also reported that the house will move a hurricane sandy aid package by january 15. possibly as soon as friday. that aid would amount to about $9 billion. again, that's according to cnn. it's not clear at this point exactly how much that would amount to. the senate although has passed the sandy aid bill and they did
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that on friday. it totaled about $60 billion. while the 112th congress plans to meet at least one last time tomorrow at 11:00 eastern, no votes are currently expected. an hour later at noon eastern, the 113th session of congress will get under way. here on c-span you can watch live coverage of the opening day, including the roll call of members as well as the election of the new house speaker. and again that's tomorrow at 12:00 noon eastern here on c-span. more now on last night's passage of the fiscal cliff bill from a republican member of congress from today's washington journal d. host: you volted against the fiscal cliff deal. why? guest: how much time have we got? i didn't like the spending portion of it. taken in a vacuum, i thought the tax portions, preserving rates and so forth, fixing the
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a.m.t., fixing the death tax permanently i thought was good. and i think i to have voted for it if it had just been about the tax rates but as so often is the case in washington, the bill wasn't just about the tax rates. it increased spending $330 billion over the next 10 years. i don't know how anyone is making the argument it's a balanced approach. it raises taxes and raises spending. and that's -- it was the spending part that did it in for me. host: speaker boehner voted for it. what do you read into his vote and the conversations that were happening both behind closed doors and on the house floor over the last couple of days? guest: i don't know. i honestly don't know. i was thinking about that a lot the last 24 hours. but there was some very candid discussions in our party which i think is very healthy. speaker cantor obviously voted against the bill last night as did mr. mccarthy, mr. boehner voted for it. mr. ryan voted for. so i think there was a lot of
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healthy discussion. host: and we're seeing here on the front page of "the washington post," leader cantor and speaker boehner, do you see this changing the dynamic of power? are we going to see perhaps a change in the speakership? because of this bill? guest: i don't think you'll see a change in the speakership. the real question is, are the next two years under the boehner speakership, which i assume is going to take place tomorrow, is today wednesday? will the next two years of leadership be like the previous two years of leadership? the conservatives in the party really feel like we're losing the spending battle. we have not cut spending. in fact, the one place we're actually supposed to cut spending was on a sequester but that got delayed as part of last night. another reason to vote against the bill. our question as conservatives is when are we going to start this battle over spending? we've waited two years now. we're not willing to wait very much longer. host: "the washington post" -- it talks about the giveaways, compromises, what transpired. it says --
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guest: people ask me, why don't you all compromise more often? i wish i could hold up that article and say, this is why we don't compromise. because the only way we compromise in this town is by borrowing more money. that's the way washington has worked the last 30 years at least is that's how we buy exro highs, by stealing money from our kids and that's what happened on this bill last night. so i think it's an excellent point. we do struggle with it. it's not a high point last night for fiscal conservatives. host: on tuesday the bill passed on their watch. does the tea party lose influence and power because of this and where does it put conservatives like yourself? guest: i don't think the tea party loses. people think of the tea party as if it's this thing that's on equal footing with the republican and democrat party. it's different things in
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different parts of the country. different things in different districts. in my district it's really a bipartisan group of small government folks who some used to be conservative democrats, some used to be republicans. in other parts of the country they might be something else. i think that's not the right question to ask. the question is, are we still a center-right party? are we a right party? or we don't know what we are. listen, we have good reasons to vote for this thing last night. the one thing i disagree with about the article is this concept that compromise is always a bad thing. i don't think that's the case. there were a lot of us who could have voted for this last night if it didn't have the spending part of it and we still would have been accused of compromise. that's ok. compromise is what we do. but sometimes there's bad compromises. host: democrats, republicans and independents can call in. let's hear from sharon in aurora, colorado, on our democrats line.
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hi. caller: good morning. happy new year. as it may be. i have a couple of comments to make. my husband and i are strong, strong democrats and we couldn't wait to vote for president obama again because we love him dealer. however, i have these two comments. i'm a little upset with the way he's letting washington republicans run over him. yes, sy billoussy billious a gentleman and -- yes, he is a gentleman and he's there to take care of us and so forth and he has done a good job, because we dealer love him. but this time the republicans it seems like were running all over him and he was being a gentleman about it. he has nothing to lose now, this is his last tour. so my husband said the president ought to take some of the representatives in the back room and give them a black eye. because they're doing things in washington that the american public is watching. nobody is asking -- the american public are not coming
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out on the street and saying, what is wrong, what are we doing? we're sending the same people back to do the same thing over. just like the old edgar hoover days. i saw the other day on news where a senator, congressman or somebody was going to retire after 36 years? come on, now. you're dying on the job with the old methods. we need fresh blood in there to pump this country up and to make the american people proud. we're americans. host: we'll talk to congressman mulvaney who is wrapping up his first term in congress. but first, how would you have voted in the fiscal cliff deal if you were a member of congress? caller: what little bit we -- host: sharon, how would you have voted for the fiscal cliff deal? would you have voted for it or against it? caller: i didn't want to go over the cliff. host: you would have voted for it? caller: yes. there's a lot of people that need that unemployment checks.
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guest: i think the gentleman she was referring to retired in the senate for 36 years is vice president biden who was there for i think longer than i've been alive. but, look, sharon, to your point about did the president get run over last night, everything i'm reading this morning in sort of the right-leaning press says that republicans got killed last night and everything i've m i'm reading in the left-leaning press says the president got killed last night. i think that's probably the nature of a exro miles. that's what this was. there's no question. every side, nobody got everything that they wanted. but compromise for the sake of compromise sometimes is not necessarily a good thing. and that's why i voted against it. again, there were things that i liked in the bill, things i did not like in the bill but on balance i couldn't deal with the increases in spending. increases in spending. let's think about that for a second. we increase the deficit with what we did last night. i thought the whole idea here was that republicans and democrats were supposed to be working together to find ways to shrink the deficit. not make it bigger.
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we made the deficit bigger last night. i think it's unfortunate that message hasn't gotten out yet. host: "washington times" says obama displeases both sides. would you be willing to go over the fiscal cliff? guest: yes. host: why? guest: at some point i think that people need to know what their government costs. i was interested in finding something that i could have voted for. but at some point people have to know what their government costs. our taxes are not covering how much money we spend. the difference in those is the number that we bring in, the number we spend is the debt and deficit. we are not paying for the government that we are getting. and unless we're going to continue to steal money from our kids we need to make a difficult choice. are we going to raise taxes or reduce spending? those are the only two ways to close the deficit. and i think that if nothing else, the media attention on the fiscal cliff made it clear
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to me and hopefully to other folks in congress that people do not want their taxes to go up. to me that means the only way you solve the problem is spending. but that's why i was willing to go over. if nothing else, to let people know that they're getting something for nothing and it's not healthy in the long-term. host: congressman mulvaney, you do realize that you voted to raise my taxes last night, right? what do you say to d? guest: i didn't vote for the agreement last night. how did i vote to raise taxes? host: since you voted against it. middle class taxes would have gone up. guest: i guess that's one way to look at it, sure. host: let's go to floral city, florida. jim on the republicans line. caller: good morning. i don't so much have a question but a comment. i feel that most of the conversation in washington is about money and it's more, more, more, more.
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they're going to waste every dime they get. so the problem i consider is that they have too much money. not that they have too little. they don't need more. if we were to update our computer system we could probably do 60% to 70% of our governmental business on a computer and let the people run it instead of our bureaucrats. it just makes no sense. i've only heard just a very few words regarding the fact that they spend too much money. guest: we do. we spend too much money. and unfortunately you're absolutely right. we don't hear that enough and for that reason that was the reason we got the compromise last night. enough people are willing to look the other way on the spending. again, i understand the folks who voted for it. both democrats and republicans alike. they don't want to go over the cliff. they don't want taxes to go up on 98% of the folks. i understand all of that. but the price of doing that was
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increasing government spending. that is not the balanced approach the president promised us. it's not the fix that we actually need. by the way, back to dean's point, i think one of the things that's fallen between the cracks on this is that everybody who voted for this last night actually technically voted to raise taxes on almost every household because the deal did not include an extension of payroll tax reduction. so your middle class taxes went up last night because the payroll tax expired. does that mean it's good or bad? my point is, you can look at this any way you want to. you want to look at it as a tax cut, fine. you want to look at it as a tax increase. that's fine. i'm not trying to say one side is right or wrong on that. what i'm saying is spending went up. and jim is absolutely right. until more people get the message that he seems to have gotten, we're not going to fix the problem. host: "the washington post" shows its readers the impact on taxpayers. where your income bracket is and what your percentage chance of having your tax increase is in this next 2013 year.
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we can see the breakdown and in orange, that's the percentage of people in those brackets that will see their taxes go up. caller: in addition to, oh, the specifics, what has been reported on, what all of us know was passed last evening, in addition to that, what was added to the bill that we don't know about? the pork kinds of items? what are some of those? thank have been added? perhaps to garner votes? one question. and another question to
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representative mulvaney, can you ever -- i would have voted in favor by the way of the bill last evening. and my question for you is, can you ever vote for a compromise that includes a tax increase on high earners and if so, what is the breaking point? host: thanks. guest: some great questions. thanks. what was added. and this is one of those things that i wish we had had more time to talk about. i think the senate voted on this by the way two days ago after having it for nine minutes. we got that information during our caucus yesterday. the bill turned out to be over 100 pages long. it's actually 96 different provisions in it. what we obviously hear about are the big ones that everybody sort of has drawn some attention to. the ones that we found yesterday were the continued tax credits for example for wind energy. there's tax credits for hollywood, there's tax credits
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for i think it's rum manufacturers. it's almost as if you can see this list of the senators walking up and down the aisles of the offices over the senate. what do you need on the bill to get this to vote yes on? why am i against them? because they increase the spending. there's not a single special interest provision in there that reduces spending. they all increase spending either through outlays or special tax benefits. can we have a compromise? here's the answer i give to that. i'm a fairly conservative person, depending on who you ask.
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the fifth or sixth most conservative person in the congress. i voted to raise the debt ceiling last year. it's something that i never thought i would do when i came to washington. i did it because it was part of the thing we called cut, cap and that fixed the problem or at least we believed fixed the problem. i'm willing to take difficult votes. i'm willing to do things i never thought i would do before, when you run a campaign, especially a first campaign for congress. but it has to fix the problem. we didn't fix the problem last night. we prevented ourselves from going over the fiscal cliff. we dug the hole of the deficit deeper. so, to your point is, yeah, i can see voting for stuff i never thought i'd vote for but it has to fix the problem. host: the cliff was designed to force congress to act responsibly. it didn't work. guest: he's not wrong. host: our democrats line. from georgia. caller: good morning and happy new year to my fellow americans. i have just a few words to say. i'm totally in agreement with
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everything both republicans and the democrats. but there's one thing that we actually need to do and these are just my opinions as an american veteran of the united states marine corps during the vietnam era war. there's camouflage going on. and what i mean by that, sir, is that we need to cut our spending, true enough, but who is willing to make the sacrifice on cutting the spending? and we do need to continue to pay taxes, of course. because that's how the country's going to live and sustain itself. but i'd like to say this, sir. that if no one is willing to make the sacrifice, pulling the hood over the american people's eyes but not -- by not addressing the real issues. the federal government has authorized all these lucrative contracts for the corporations and these are the gigantic spendings, unnecessarily in areas that we need to really take a look at.
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and there are a lot of debates about the taxes on the middle class or the people making between $400,000 and $450,000 a year on businesses that. doesn't affect the economy. there's trillions of deleas that affects comet and we need to address these issues. who are the ones that are getting all of these big-time contracts? host: questions to the congressman. guest: it's frustrating to me as it is to you. thank you for your service. the crony capitalism bothers me as much as it bothers many folks in the other party. the giveaways to large corporations offends me. but to the larger point, you could take all of that and take it to zero, you could take the entire, for example, defense department to zero tomorrow and we'd still be in deficit. you could take every single part of the discretionary budget, agriculture, education,
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energy, whatever, take it to zero, spend no dollars on it tomorrow, and we would still be in deficit. so we do have a spending problem and to your point, it's going to take sacrifice. the question i ask everybody is would you rather pay more taxes or have less spending? those are the only choices you have. we've put off those difficult choices for 30 years because we figured out a way to borrow money. and essentially what that does is essentially say to our children, hey, we're going to take the money and you're going to pay it back. i think that's immoral. i think it's wrong and i think it's time for us as a nation to sit down and have a very serious conversation. one of the things i think we missed,s opportunity we missed on this facecal cliff was to have that conversation and sit down and say, look, either your taxes have to go up, and not taxes on somebody else, not taxes on just people making $400,000, taxes on everybody. you can tax folks making $250,000 and above at a 100% rate, take all of their income and we still could not balance the budget. either we're all going to pay more taxes or we're going to have less spend and it goes
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with the very easy choices we have as a nation. excuse me, very difficult choices we have as a nation. host: republican of south carolina, representative mulvaney. he represents the fifth district of south carolina which includes rock hill, sumter and darlington answered serves on the budget, small business and joint economic committee. let's go to chris in ohio, a republican kuhl caller. hi, chris. . caller: what i'm seeing is that the republican party needs to have a clear distinction from the democratic party. the results of the last election proved one thing. barack obama by any historical standards on the economy had a terrible record, ok and he banked that there were a lot of people addicted and i say addicted to government programs and they re-elected him. but the republican party is
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going to survive as a party. as reagan said, we need clear and bold distinction. let the democrats be the party of big government. we are either going to resolve this problem or we're going to repeat mistakes that japan and greece has done. there will come a point we will not be able to protect the american people. host: how would you have voted on the fiscal cliff bill? caller: i know some would have been disappointed, i would have voted no. we need to make this government accountable. there has been 30 years of spending and we never get any resolution. swing state voter and ohio and you know the role you played in the presidential election. after last night, do you see a clear distinction between republicans and democrats? caller: a lot of republicans voted against this bill, some
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are getting the message, but with all due respect to speaker boehner he is a nice man personally but he does not have the backbone needs to stand up to this president. president obama has been able to outmaneuver him every turn. the real discussion should have been about tax reform. when barack obama was talking about tax increases, republican party should have said we need to reform the system and capitalize and get the most revenue. but you have to cut spending. if you raise taxes by 5% you have to cut spending by at least 8%. host: congressman mulvaney. guest: the gentleman makes a lot of excellent points. i think it would have been possible last night to have this vote go exactly the same way as it did and still have the republican party coming
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outlooking pretty good. if we had taken the last eight weeks to talk about spending and to talk about tax reform, i think we could have said, look, we have changed the dialogue, we know we are talking about spending and didn't get it in this deal but heeded to the next deal. we as a party collectively went to the president and said let's talk about tax revenues. i think that's where we lost the debate. i don't think it's just the vote last night. there are good reasons to vote for it because we locked in permanently these lower tax rates for a lot of people. that is a win, no question about it. but when we add to the fact we haven't talked about spending to the fact we increased spending, i think crisis right, we have blurred the lines. we like spending in the republican party we think our spending creates jobs but don't
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like spending when the democrats spend money. until we have the nerve to say that we have to stop spending, the lines between the two parties will continue to be blurred. host: let's look at some of the details. permanently extends the bush-era tax cuts for a couple up to $450,000. host: any of those -- some of those you agree with. guest: if it was a tax deal, it would have been more acceptable. host: what don't you like in there?
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guest: raising rates at the margin has a negative impact on the economy. i think a better way to get that money would have been through closing loopholes. what's not on that list is the death tax. a dramatic improvement over what it was going to be today. i would like to get rid of it. i thought the terms of the death tax were fair. my difficulty with the bill is not with what you put up on the screen. i thought it was a good and fair compromise. host: here are some of those hits, $450,000 will see rise. long-term capital gains and dividends, 20% and the estate tax goes up. guest: the estate tax goes up from 35% to 40% and the exclusion is $5 million.
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as of last night at midnight that was $1 million and 55%. the terms were much more favorable. and that is one of the things that really helps small businesses, particularly farmers. i think that was a good part of the deal. host: independent caller, matthew is up next. caller: congressman mulvaney, i have two points to bring up. the first is the simpson-bowles plan, i thought that was an outstanding plan and i was excited what they had come up with to get the country on the right track and democrats and republicans couldn't come together and get this plan into effect. i was really saddened to see we weren't going in that direction. my next comment would be retired air force, i collect social security and i'm on medicare, i
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would gladly give up a percentage if we do means testing if i could be sure that the percentage i give up goes directly to pay down the debt. and there are a lot of americans that feel the same as i do. but we can't continue the spending. as a retired military, i see our forces all over the world where we are spending money where we don't need to be. host: they said it is a missed opportunity. bowles and simpson said that the fiscal cliff deal is truly a missed opportunity to solve the nation's long-term budget problems. guest: you said something that rings true, they would be willing to sacrifice as they knew the money wasn't being wasted and that's where we missed the opportunity last night. we don't have the fiscal
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discipline. i cannot ask you to pay more money yet because i don't have the confidence that the government won't waste it. the folks back home know if you give us money, we are going to spend it. means testing, you mentioned specifically, a lot of people don't realize the fact that it was part of the republican budget, the ryan budget to means test some of the entitlement programs. the republican study committee budget was decried as being the most draconian budget that was offered in the last two years that scott garrett and myself and others helped write. social security and medicare. we're with you on that. we understand that there is a way to fix this that is reasonable. simpson-bowles. i dismissed it. i'll be honest with you. i got it.
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i didn't look at it closely at the time. it's time to start looking at it again. i have had long conversations with folks that know more about it than i do and we decided to take it back out of the draw and look at it anew. host: who are you looking to as republican leaders, congressman ryan, senator rubio, whose votes do you agree with? guest: you don't look to one person. we take a lot of heat in south carolina of looking to senator demint. and no longer will be the case since he is gone effectively noon today. you look across the board and even last night, you could have looked to marco rubio and gotten one answer and ron johnson and mike lee and pat toomey, another answer. it doesn't work like that.
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you look to folks for input. ryan voted for this bill. hensarling and cantor against. there were more conservatives against last night than for. but if you are following one person, you are probably making a big mistake. host: darrel, democrats' line from indiana. caller: i have a comment on why the republican party is in the shape they are in and why i would have voted yes on this fiscal cliff. to vote no should have been taken back when we had this problem with the banks. i think that's when they should have voted no and i don't think we would have been in this shape right now if that would have happened. the republican party for one
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thing, we can see why we should not have a third party, because when they were running their nominations for the republican presidency, we saw what a third party can do, which i'm talking about the tea party. so what happened -- the republican party was on its way down then. but after they got their nomination, the tea party basically took over the republican party and they went about as right as they could get and off the page. that's what i think has happened to them. and some of the money can be fixed on our taxes, definitely through this immigration problem. i can speak for my city only, but i understand, i have relatives in texas and they have told me they have recently noticed the same problem. the companies and factories in
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our city hire illegal immigrants. they do not take federal taxes out of their checks. and i have brought this up to some of the state representatives here in this state and to other people, labor relations, i.c.e., and nothing is being done and i have been told they could do nothing. and i know why the state doesn't do anything, because they take state taxes out. and these companies threaten the cities, oh, well, you better not bring i.c.e. in here and bother us, because if you do, we'll pull our factory out, you'll shut us down. the state and the counties get their tax money. the federal government does not get any money from these illegals. guest: couple different things. to my republican friend who doesn't like the tea party very
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much, i would remind them the reason we are in the majority is because of the tea party in 2010. love them, hate them, i don't care, they are the reason that john boehner is the speaker of the house and we are in the majority. if we forget that we will likely lose that majority. when you say the tea party went off the page, the party wants to balance the budget. we want to balance the budget. if that's the page, then we might as well give up and go home. we want the government to spend what it takes in. if that is so far right-wing, crazy politics then we might as well give up and go home, because that's the end of it. if you can't acknowledge that the government can't spend more than it takes in, then it's no reason for us to be here. i hope we do get a chance to move to immigration.
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there is a lot of talk today of perhaps washington doesn't have the ability anymore to do anything big, do grand bargains and so forth. i don't think that's the case. i think on taxes and spending, it looks to be the case. but i do hope and i feel like there is some energy behind looking at immigration reform and i think there is a chance to take that up. and i hope that the result of this we do immigration reform. host: immigration tops washington's list. 2013-to do list is immigration and iran and debt. guest: first thing you started to hear from our folks is that well, maybe it's time for us to look at immigration policy.
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host: 600 comments on the fiscal cliff deal. we have a couple of folks who agree with you. guest: we'll put that to the test. we have a government shutdown in march. now we have the sequester, if you like brink mansship this will be your year. congressman mulvaney what are your thoughts if sequestration kicks in. a lot of programs. guest: i didn't like the nature of the cuts because i thought that they were poorly done. and i do think they would have had a negative impact on defense. the house did a good job last
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year of offering a replacement a different plan for cutting not only cutting the same amount of money, but significantly more money. i do think it's important we do cut the spending. the only thing worse than cutting defense is not cutting anything, which is effectively what we did last night. we put it off for two months. the sequester cuts are what we promised you. we promised the american public when we raised the debt ceiling that we would cut spending one dollar for every dollar spending increase. that was supposed to kick in tomorrow. that didn't happen. we have not cut spending one dollar since we increased the debt ceiling deal in august of 2011. and here we are again getting ready to have the same debate. we cannot cut spending. that was one of the most frustrating parts of the deal last night, i think we have to
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acknowledge that we can't cut spending. we are so afraid of these cuts. $110 billion out of a budget that is 3800 billion. $3800 billion and trying to cut $110 billion. if you can't do that, what are your chances of balancing the budget. disappointing outcome for me last night. host: howard from west virginia on our republican line. caller: i have a question. how much money do they make a year and can they go on less than $1,000 a month like my wife and i who are both handicapped and disabled and if this passed last year instead of waiting until this time to get over the
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cliff where nobody can do nothing but sit back and worrying what's going on, keep our homeland free, keep us free from people attacking us and can you yourself live on $1,000 a month and keep your family with clothes on your back? caller: we make $174,000 and i couldn't live on $1,000. this is the expiration of the bush tax cuts. we have known for 10 years at least, two years at least, 10 years possibly, we knew this night was coming and put it off until the last minute. i have three seventh graders, my wife and i have trip lets. at home, the kids don't do their homework until the day before the project is due and pretty
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much the same as congress as well. bringing the military home, there is a growing concern within the republican party, within the most conservative wings of the republican party thinking that it is time to reconsider our overseas policies and military expansion policy. host: legislation that passed the house last night prevents $900 automatic pay hike to members of congress. guest: we didn't know the president could do that. congress gets a raise automatically unless it votes not to. we have voted and properly so the last two years not to give ourselves automatic raises and the president said he want todd give it to us. we didn't think he could do
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that. but we worked it out in a separate bill last night and again part of the compromise was for us not to take that. host: last call for congressman mulvaney, wilmington, vermont, michael, independent. >> i agree with much of what you say and i think everyone does and spending should be cut but the great fraud that's been perpetrated on the american people is the ability of wealthy corporations to convert tax money into personal income. the way that works is through war. war is a massive fraud, from my perspective. we didn't have to invade iraq. don't have to be in afghanistan. i agree with you it's time to bring the troops home, but it was time never to lose these
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precious lives. so i would suggest that we back off from war, from the prosecution of war and emulate china, take care of your own people, your own country, build your economy, educate your population and become powerful and strong again. and that's my comment, sir. guest: i appreciate the comments, michael. emulate china, wow -- i'm roman catholic, i don't get to do that in china. i don't know if you are a man of faith but yame. no economic freedom. i probably don't own my house and the government can take it away. i hear what you are saying and easy to look at other countries
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that are doing well and say let's copy them. most of the world looks at us and says let's copy the united states. i disagree with you. i will take the difficulties of living in this country in exchange for the freements that are related to that. host: remember george bush and all the pork. guest: i get in trouble with my own party because it started under reagan. the only person who paid down the deficit was the clinton. republicans were in charge. both parties are responsible. if just democrats doing that, the republicans would be screaming holy murder, they wouldn't. both parties are complicit in this. let's get beyond that. laying blame is going to solve it. how are we going to fix it.
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[captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2013] >> president obama has yet to sign the fiscal cliff bill. the house is going to meet at 11 a.m. at noon eastern, the 113th session of congress begins with live coverage here on c-span and the senate on c-span, too. roll call of members as wells the election of the house speaker. that starts at noon eastern here on c-span. a vote on hurricane sandy funding is now expected on friday. a statement from house speaker john boehner and majority leader eric cantor said getting aid to the victims of hurricane sandy should be the first priority and the house will vote friday to
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direct needed resources to the national flood insurance program and on january 15, the first full legislative day of the 113th congress the house will consider the remaining supplemental requests. that a statement from house speaker boehner. two hours ago, new jersey governor chris christie held a news conference on speaker boehner's decision to not hold a vote yesterday on a bill to help victims of hurricane sandy. >> good afternoon. when hurricane sandy made landfall on august 24, 1992, congress and president bush 41 responded within 31 days with a federal aid package. when hurricane gustav made landfall in 2008 and hurricane ike 12 days later, congress and
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president bush 43 responded in 17 days with a federal aid package. when hurricane katrina made landfall on august 29, 2005, congress and president bush 43 responded with an initial 62.3 billion aid package in 10 days. hurricane sandy made landfall in new jersey on october 29, 2012, 66 days ago. and our state alone, 3636 homes were damaged or destroyed. seven million were out power. 600 state roads were closed. 127 shelters, evacuated citizens, mass transit was closed. all new jersey schools were closed, some for weeks. tens of thousands of businesses were damaged or destroyed with
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many still closed. our jersey shore was devastated with the loss of homes, public buildings and iconic symbols of new jersey culture and economic vitality destroyed. tens of thousands of our citizens enter 2013, unsure of their future as they spent the holiday season displaced from all that was familiar and comforting. 31 days for andrew victims. 17 days for victims of gustav and ike, 10 days for victims of katrina, for the victims of sand via in new jersey, new york and connecticut, this is 66 days and the wait continues. there is only one group to blame for the continued suffering of these innocent victims, the house majority and their speaker, john boehner. this is not a republican or a
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democratic issue. national disasters happen in red states and blue states and states with democratic governors and republican governors. we respond to innocent victims of natural disasters, not as republicans or democrats, but as americans. or at least we did until last night. last night, politics was placed before our oath to serve our citizens. for me, it was disappointing and disgusting to watch. on january 19, 2010, i took an oath to serve all the people of new jersey without regard to race, eggetnissy, gender affiliation and i have worked as hard as i could to be loyal to that oath whether under the pressure of dealing with the legislature of the opposite party or the scrutiny of a hotly contested election, i have always put the people of new jersey in my oath ahead of
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petty, personal politics. last night, the house of representatives failed. that most basic test of public service and they did so with callous indifference to the suffering of the people of my state. if you want an example of how nonpartisan this issue should have been, i offer this for your consideration. near midnight last night, conservative congressman chris smith of new jersey and former speaker nancy pelosi of california both spoke on the floor in concert with each other and in support of this aid package. one for the record books, i suspect. on the equities, this should be a no-brainer for the house republicans as well. new york and new jersey used the international firm of makensey and company to quantify the damage to our state and our professional staff have spent countless hours to congressional staff providing backup
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documentation for all the damage claims. governor cuomo and i have spent hours and hours speaking to individual members of the house and senate to answer their questions. we worked with president obama and his administration and satisfied them of the urgent need of the $60 billion aid package. this was good enough for 62 united states senators of both parties to vote for this package. this was good enough for a majority of the house of representatives. it overcame all the factual challenges but could not overcome the toxic, internal politics of the house majority. finally, new jersey and new york are among the most generous states in the nation to our fellow states. we vote for disaster relief for other states in need. we are donor states, sending much more to washington, d.c., than we ever get back in federal spending. despite this history in our hour
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of desperate need, we have been left waiting for help six times longer than the victims of katrina, with no end in sight. americans are tired of the intrigue and political partisanship of this congress which places one upmanship who sent these people to washington, d.c., in the first place. the people of new york and new jersey are tired of being treated like second-class citizens. new york does better than the selfishness we saw on display last night. new jersey deserves better than what we saw last night. america deserves better than just another example of a government that has forgotten who they are there to serve and why. 66 days and counting. shame on you. shame on congress. despite my anger and disappointment, my hope is that
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the good people in congress, and there are good people in congress, will prevail upon their colleagues to finally, finally put aside the politics and help our people now. that's the only hope we have left, is for the good people to prevail upon the others. one thing i can assure the people of this region is this, governor cuomo and i will not stop fighting together to see that justice is done and our citizens' suffering is finally addressed by this congress. questions? matt? [inaudible question] >> listen, it's hard for me from this distance to speculate about
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the specifics of what caused this. all i can say is this, we were given assurances by everyone, myself and governor cuomo, over the weekend that this was going to be done. we got continued assurances as late as last night at 9:00 that as soon as the vote on the fiscal cliff was over that the rule would be discussed on the aid package. it's hard for me to tell. this was the speaker's -- his alone. and i can tell you our representatives down in congress on both sides of the aisle both in new york and new jersey were working with unrivaled bipartisan together. as to who i have spoken to, the president called me earlier today to assure me of his continued support and will be a priority for the administration. i spoke to majority leader
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cantor earlier today. i have to tell you that eric was working as hard as he could to get this done for us through the weekend and early part of this week and i had a conversation with the speaker this morning where he informed me he will be meeting this afternoon with members of the new jersey and new york delegation from the republican party. so to what's gone on, you have seen a lot of palace intrigue and folks are putting politics ahead of their responsibilities. i understand it's challenging as a politician to stop playing politics, but we have jobs to do. and i have been confronted with this situation a number of times. you do the right thing. it's for the people who sent you there. enough with all the politics. michael?
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[inaudible question] >> you have to ask them. i was given no explanation. i was given no explanation. i was called at 11:20 last night by leader cantor and told that authority for the vote was pulled by the speaker. and our delegation asked for a meeting with the speaker and were refused. i called the speaker four times last night after 11:20 and he did not take my calls, so you have to ask the speaker. [inaudible question] >> every day that we don't begin to get this aid are days that we can't help people get back in their homes and businesses reopened and get our economy moving.
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those are the real consequences. people not having the ability to plan their future. it's absolutely disgraceful. and i have to tell you, this used to be something that was not political. you know, disaster relief is something you didn't play games with. but now in this current atmosphere, everything is the subject of one-upmansship. and it is why the american people hate congress, it's why they hate them. and governor cuomo and iras frustrated as two people can be, unlike members of congress, we have responsibilities and we have the responsibility to make things happen. [inaudible question] >> i doubt it. i think most people have gone
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home. brian? [inaudible question] >> be happy to pay for it tomorrow for a hamburger today. i was being assured that this was going to be done. and i spoke to members from all over the country. i spent most of new year's eve and new year's day with members of congress soliciting their support and vote for this package. i'm not going to get into the specifics of what i discussed with john boehner today, but what i will tell you is, there
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is no reason to believe anything they tell me. because they have been telling me stuff for weeks and they didn't deliver. and it's an appropriate time for me to say, i have to give real credit to senator menendez, who worked extraordinarily hard in making this happen and he deserves great credit for it. and to give real credit to both the republican and democratic delegations in the house. they worked seamlessly together. i was on the phone with congressman frelinghuysen and congressman pallone who were taking the lead on this and they all worked tirelessly on this. so they deserve great credit. it ain't done until it's done. and we learned that at 11:20 last night that we were assured that it was going to happen. that's the difference, brian.
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if it gets done in a couple of weeks, again, every day that goes by drk talk to the people down at union peach, talk to the folks at tom's river. ask them another two weeks matters to them in their lives. those are the people that i'm concerned about and those are the people i care about not the politicians in washington, d.c., who will say whatever they need to say to get through the next day. [inaudible question] >> yes. and they should is, too. all i can tell them is what i said at the end here, governor cuomo and i are not wallflowers or shrinking violets and we have resources at our disposal, too. and we will work together and fight together to make sure that this happens. and i still believe it will
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happen, because i believe there are more good people in congress than bad and eventually this will happen. if the people of new jersey feel betrayed today by those who did this in the house last night, then they have good company. i'm with them. [inaudible question] >> i'm exercising one of them right now. matt. [inaudible question] >> none that i have been made aware of by counsel's office or the attorney general at this point. [inaudible question] >> i think you have to be a
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little more specific because there have been some people who have been extraordinarily helpful. certainly at the moment, i wouldn't be looking to do much for house leadership. [inaudible question] >> as long as it totals 60, i don't care how they split it up. that was an effort by caintor and frelinghuysen who took the co-lead to come up with something that would pass. there were many people in the republican caucus, a majority or more that would vote for the $27 billion and splitting it up, they would give, along with the
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democratic votes, they would get to the majority of the house. that was the strategy that leader can'tor and congressman frelinghuysen came up with. and given what i heard from leaders in the democratic party in the house and republican members, i'm confident that the bill would have passed. >> would you take the $60 billion today? >> no. [inyou had i believe question] >> completely ridiculous. [inaudible question] >> we sent a ton of information, leader cantor who is not known as a spend delept thrift was leading the way. this is like no-nothings out there who read something out of the ap about the stuff that was put in there by the senate and all of a sudden says this is a pork package.
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they should spend time reading information and less time reading their political talking points by their staff and they know who they are. [inaudible question] >> too early to tell. [inaudible question] >> again, congress controls its own calendar, this much we know. the president is ready, willing and able to sign this. we have a majority in the united states senate, both republicans and democrats who were favorably disposed to the $60 billion package and a majority of the house of representatives but it's up to the speaker. because it was his decision to stop it. [inaudible question]
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>> that's the point i was trying to make in response to brian's question, you know, there's always something down there. they are always bickering down there and not getting anything done. what's the next one down there? we have work to do here. and new jersey and new york have stood up every time to louisiana, alabama, florida, mississippi, missouri, alabama have needed aid for disasters. new jersey and new york's representatives regardless of party have stood up for them. it's now time for them to stand up for this region of the country as well. this should not be subject to politics. this is a basic function of government. and yeah i'm concerned about it, because every day it doesn't happen is a day it doesn't happen. i can't take anybody's
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assurances anymore. [inaudible question] >> my understanding is that the flood insurance program will run out of money next week if not refinanced by congress. and so the speaker's irresponsible action in not moving on anything at least appears from the information i have been given will leave the flood insurance program broke by the end of next week. [inaudible question] >> i'm not concerned about that, but more the indecision that's the problem. we found in nondisaster-related
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times, the fact is they couldn't make a decision. so businesses sat for months and months and months waiting to be made. sitting on the governor's desk -- you know, we have wiped away a lot of that indecision in this administration. indecision is crippling the business decision. so if we can't act decisively, they won't. or worse yet, act indecisively somewhere else. so it's a concern. michael? [inaudible question] >> i have not yet been given an assurance from anyone that is credible with me about that. [inaudible question]
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>> listen, this is unfortunate. toxic politics of congress right now. they can't even agree with each other. for somebody who has a real job to do here, you know, who is held responsible for the lives and health and safety of people in this state, it is extraordinarily frustrating to me that we've got people down there who use the citizens of this country like pawns on a chest board. that's the way the citizens of new york and new jersey were treated last night. pawns on a chest board, our people were played last night as a pawn. and that's why people hate washington d.c. and hate politics. last night it was my party responsible. last night, my party was responsible for this.
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matt? [inaudible question] >> i'm not a member of the house, i don't get a vote. i don't care. [inaudible question] >> i don't know. i hope not. i hope that we're not really believing that people who live in new york and new jersey are second-class citizens given the fact that we contribute so much more to the operation of the federal government than we ever get back in return. there is a regional bias, it should be in our favor when we finally have a problem. but i can tell you this, a lot of our support for the $60 billion came from members in places like louisiana, alabama, florida, who have been through this, california, and who know how difficult this is. support from iowa as well. folks who have been through
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major disasters and know you don't play games with this. apparently that was ripped out of the house leadership manual for last night. [inaudible question] >> i don't think i have anything to do with this, guys. internal house politics. i don't think i have anything to do with it. [inaudible question] >> yes, i was. [inautomobile -- inaudible question] >> maybe 30, maybe between 30 and 40. [inaudible question] >> no one is beyond redemption. do your job. and come through for the people of this country as a national
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leader the way you should and i'll be fine. everybody makes mistakes. last night was a big mistake. he hasn't lost all credibility with me but right now, but i think what happened last night was absolutely uncalled for and i have been given no credible explanation as to why. but, again, he's the speaker of the house and tomorrow's another day. so, you know, he can prove to me that he really does care about the people of new york and new jersey by getting this package done -- [inaudible question] >> the only discussion was the $400 million or so that was put into the bill by the senate for non-sandy-related stuff, fisheries, something in alaska
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and colorado and a roof on the smithsonian. there were a couple of things like that. but other than that -- now, there are some who have a philosophical point of view that some of the things in the package should never be related to disaster relief. they questioned the sill philosophical approach. no one has said our numbers are wrong, bad, inflated or cooked or anything like that. [inaudible question] >> get the package done. i don't think it's possible to get it done in this congress. the information i'm getting from our members, members who have retired are gone. so you may not have enough people in the capitol at this moment to get it done. i don't know. listen, if that were possible, i would love to have it done today
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concurred with by the senate tomorrow and have this over with, but i'm hoping this gets put on a fast track to getting done as quickly as possible. you heard the numbers. you know, 10 days on katrina, 17 days on ike and gustav and 31 days on andrew. by those days, they had their money in hand. this is 66 days and counting. it's unprecedented and outrageous. they are all so caught up in this politics of this fake fiscal cliff and so consumed by their own palace intrigue between the house of representatives, the white house, senate, this house, versus this group of house republicans that they forget we sent them there. we sent them there to do the work for us. not sit down there and play with
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each other and that's what they're doing. this thing has been -- the president sent this three weeks ago. fully vetted by o.m.b. three weeks ago. no reason for this bill to be sitting ruined and didn't do it with anyone else and i believe it's not a regional thing. i believe it's the fact that they are so consumed with their own internal politics that they have forgotten that they have a job to do. it's not all playing to you guys. they have a job to do. when you're governor, you never forget that. governor cuomo and i don't have that luxury. matt? [inaudible question] >> no. no. no. no. no. no this is internal -- i'm telling you, matt, this is
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internal politics, that's what it is. charlie? [inaudible question] >> i'm dealing with the tea party, next. no. no. charlie -- charlie, i'm off it. you hear my answer to him. why would my answer to you be any different? next question. come up with something else. next question. [inaudible question] >> listen, our ability to be able to help small businesses on the shore and elsewhere get up and running, huge difference, help people get back in their homes, huge difference, to know we can rebuild the beaches and make the inland areas safe and safe to rebuild in these towns, these are all real life things. what happened to the
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infrastructure, new jersey transit, utilities and others. these are things that need to be decided. are they going to be paid by rate pairs? these are things that need to be decided, but none of these decisions can be made until we know what role the federal government is going to play in this and that delays people's return to complete normalcy. that is my role as governor to complete them to normalcy. they impede my ability to do that. and that's incredibly frustrating, because it's hard enough to do this even if everything was working well, even if they acted in 17 days, 10 days or 31 days, it would still be difficult to do that. and so when they continue to delay this long with no end in sight, it becomes even more challenging and more discouraging. i really don't, i would just be
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guessing. every day that goes by is a wasted day. it's a wasted day when we can't do things. [inaudible question] >> steve probably should have left the last sentence off, he would have been bretter -- better off. [inaudible question] >> we'll see. primaries are an ugly thing. yes. [inaudible question]
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>> people understand that mitigation in new jersey is somewhat of a different issue when you talk about the shoreline. if the rebuilding of the beach mitigation or is it restoration? it depends on in the eyes of the beholder but you can't responsibly rebuild unless and until you know that you are going to have a barrier at the beach and then how high do you build, how far back do you build. that is dependent upon what the shoreline looks like. that may be mitigation but to me it is restoration to what it was before so you can make investment decisions on how to rebuild private property and governmental property. luke?
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[inaudible question] >> neither am i, obviously. [inaudible question] >> i hope whatever they wanted to achieve amongst each other they acheeved so i can move on to business. if one set of republicans was trying to prove another thing. if the speaker was trying to prove something, i hope he achieved it. i hoped they accomplished it so we can move on to business. there were no -- to this moment, there has been no substantive reason given to me as to why and certainly not by the decision makers. bob. [inaudible question] >> really? is that what you call it? a huge epic battle?
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[inaudible question] >> i'm not here as a political pundit to analyze that stuff for you guys. get somebody else to do it. all i know is i was given assurance that the fiscal cliff battle was going on and i was given assurance at 9:00 that it wasn't lost upon them that the epic battle had been engaged. i can't tell you why, bob, i don't know. you have this fascination with the tea party. i'm not going to be a pundit for you guys. my job is to tell you what i know and the facts that i know. yes, ma'am? [inaudible question]
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>> i can't understand it. that's all i can conclude is that they were trying to do because there were no substantive reasons for the action, so i have to believe there were political reasons for the action. i didn't create it. why is it? people who compete with each other power generally fight well doing it. nothing new. brian? i'm not going to talk about my conversation with the speaker today. i have said that no one has given me a substantive, credible reason for it not being done today. i'm not going to discuss the specifics of my conversation with the speaker because i would like to have conversations with the speaker in the future. and if i talk about everything i talked about, i suspect as would happen with me if i start having


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